Top office-products retailer Staples Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as cost cuts offset weak sales.

Net earnings rose to $269.4 million, or 37 cents a share, in the third quarter that ended on October31, from $156.7 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 39 cents a share, beating the analysts' average forecast of 38 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total sales fell 6 percent to $6.5 billion.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, editing by Christopher Kaufman)