US grocer Albertson’s has posted a decline in fourth-quarter profit due to falling sales and fierce competition, particularly from discount retail giant Wal-Mart.

Albertson’s, which operates stores under the Albertson’s, Jewel-Osco, Max Foods and Sav-on Drugs banners, posted net income of US$205m, or 54 cents a share, for the quarter to 30 January, compared to $290m, or 71 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

Excluding one-time items, the retailer earned 52 cents a share, meeting Wall Street’s average estimate, reported Reuters.

Quarterly sales fell to $9.1bn from $9.3bn in the year-ago period, while same-store sales fell 1.2%.

Albertson’s has forecast full-year earnings of $2.08 per share to $2.13 per share for the current year.