Chico's FAS Inc (Nasdaq: CHCS), sellers of designer, private-labelled women's casual clothing and related accessories, has announced increased December sales results for the five week period ended December 30, 2000.

Total sales for the five week period increased 65.2 per cent to $28.8m from the $17.4m reported for the five week period ended January 1, 2000. Comparable store sales for the Company-owned stores increased 34.2 per cent for the five week period ended December 30, 2000.

For the 48 weeks ended December 30, 2000, total sales increased 63.0 per cent to $236.6m from $145.1m for the same period in 1999. Comparable store sales for the Company-owned stores increased 33.3 per cent for the 48 week period.

Chico's chairman and CEO, Marvin Gralnick, said: "We are thrilled with December sales which is our biggest month in our company's history.

"We continue to gain market share as we dramatically increase our customer base. Considering the generally poor retail environment at year end and increased promotional pricing, we were pleased to see steadily improving same store sales during the Christmas season.

"The 34.2 per cent same store sales for the month helped to offset the impact of the pressure on our gross margins, thus allowing us to remain confident that we will be able to meet our internal per share earnings goal of $.25 - $.28 for the fourth quarter compared to $.18 for the same quarter last year."