Walgreen Co posted a higher quarterly profit as it discounted less seasonal merchandise, but sales were pressured as the top U.S. drugstore chain dealt with cost-conscious consumers and a weak cold and flu season.

Profit rose to $669 million, or 68 cents per share, in the second quarter ended on February 28 from $640 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included 2 cents per share in restructuring and other costs.

Sales rose 3.1 percent to $17 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 0.2 percent.

Prescription and general merchandise sales were both pressured by the mild winter flu season, and consumers continued to hold off buying discretionary items. Margins improved in the quarter as the company took fewer markdowns on seasonal goods.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)