UPDATE 1-Mexico's Walmex reports weaker-than-expected Q4 profit

Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:17pm EST

MEXICO CITY Feb 20 (Reuters) - Mexico's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart de Mexico, reported a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, hurt by higher costs.

The company, controlled by U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc , reported a profit of 8.371 billion pesos ($650 million) for the October-December period, compared to 8.323 billion pesos in the same quarter a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of 8.753 billion pesos, according to a Reuters' survey of six analysts.

Costs rose more quickly than sales in Central America, the company said, without giving more details in its statement filed with Mexico's stock exchange.

The company said fourth-quarter revenue rose 5.5 percent to 121.8 billion pesos, just a little above analysts' estimates of 121.5 billion pesos.

Walmex shares closed down 1.6 percent at 41.32 pesos, before the company reported its results.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 8.3 percent in the period to 14.035 billion pesos, the company said.

Walmex opened 285 new stores and restaurants in 2012 throughout Mexico and Central America, the company said last month.