• Net earnings surged 96% to $42.5m from $21.7m
  • Net sales rose 27% to $752.2m from $594.1m
  • Comparable store sales increased 9% 

Ascena Retail Group Inc, formerly known as The Dress Barn, has raised its full-year earnings guidance after nearly doubling its second quarter profit.

Performance in the three months to 29 January was mainly due to a 52.8% hike in sales at its Justice stores, which target tween girls. By division, Dressbarn sales increased 1% to $211.6m and Maurices rose 24% to $202.8m.

"I am very pleased with our overall business performance and our ability to identify the right merchandise, plan assortments effectively, conduct compelling marketing activities and develop increased loyalty from our customers," said president and CEO David R Jaffe.

"As we move into the second half of our fiscal year, we are focused on continuing to deliver value to our customers, on sustaining our improvements in margin and on building a shared infrastructure platform to support each of our brands."