Jan 3 (Reuters) - Family Dollar Stores Inc posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as its emphasis on selling more everyday items like cigarettes and soft drinks put pressure on margins.
The company also said that December sales, which came in after the quarter ended, were hurt as people cut back on discretionary spending.
The discount chain added cigarettes and other tobacco products, Pepsi drinks, gift cards, magazines and some other goods to its assortment in recent months in an attempt to better compete against chains such as Dollar General Corp.
Its profit was $80.3 million, or 69 cents a share, in the fiscal first-quarter that ended Nov. 24, compared with a profit of $80.4 percent, or 68 cents, a year earlier.
Analysts on average forecast 75 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.