Speciality retailer Chico's FAS is planning an aggressive store opening programme after announcing a 20% rise in revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

Net income for the period climbed to a record US$52m, while revenues rose 19.8% to $392m.

President and CEO Scott A Edmonds said the company had seen solid increases in brand operating margins and its quarterly results were in line with expectations.

"We continue to be excited about the growth and expansion opportunities for all of our brands, and our focus and commitment remain on long-term growth," he added.

"With these continuing long-term investments, we expect there will be some continued pressure on the overall operating margin percentage for the remainder of fiscal 2006 and the first half of 2007.

"With that said, we still expect to significantly increase earnings and maintain one of the top operating margin percentages in the retail apparel industry."

Edmonds also announced a "more aggressive" fiscal 2007 opening programme, including a goal of 25% overall square footage growth, on top of a 30% growth figure for fiscal 2006.