Top home improvement chain Home Depot reported a quarterly profit on Tuesday as it benefited from efforts to improve efficiency.

The company said its net profit was $342 million, or 20 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended on January 31, compared with a year-earlier loss of $54 million, or 3 cents a share.

Sales fell 0.3 percent to $14.57 billion.

The news came a day after smaller rival Lowe's Cos reported better-than-expected results and said sales would improve in 2010 as demand for remodeling projects picks up.

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