DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) ¿ United Stationers Inc. said Friday that its third-quarter profit edged up 1 percent on reduced expenses and continued high demand for some of its flu-related products. The distributor of office and business products earned $33.5 million, or $1.38 per share, for the period ended Sept. 30. That's up from $33.1 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier. The prior year's results included a 13 cents per share gain on the sale of two distribution centers. Operating expenses declined to $126.3 million from $136.1 million. "Our strong execution of diligent cost management and working capital controls helped us counter the effects of lower sales compared with last year," President and CEO Richard Gochnauer said in a statement. Sales dropped 7 percent to $1.25 billion from $1.34 billion as the recession weighed on all product categories. United Stationers distributes technology products, traditional office products, janitorial and breakroom supplies, office furniture and industrial supplies. The company's stock gained $2.92, or 6.3 percent, to $49.50 in morning trading.