Big Lots Inc posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as the close-out retailer offset falling sales with tight expense controls.

Net income for the second quarter ended August 1 rose to $28.4 million, or 34 cents per share, from $26 million, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 35 cents a share, compared with the analysts' average forecast of 30 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

The retailer, which specializes in sales of excess inventory, said net sales fell 1.7 percent to $1.09 billion, while sales at stores open at least two years fell 2.4 percent.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)