Value-priced fashion retailer Citi Trends Inc has managed to lift its first quarter profit by 51.9% helped by higher sales and lower margins.

Net income rose to $7.9m or $0.54 per share, from $5.2m or $0.36 per share in the same quarter last year.

Sales in the three months to 3 May were up 18.3% to $143.1m from $121.0m, and same-store sales increased 7.4%.

The Savannah, Georgia based firm, which operates 365 stores, said earnings were also boosted by lower freight costs, reduce inventory shrinkage, and a higher initial merchandise mark-up.

Looking ahead it raised its full-year earnings estimate to $1.33 per share, with same-store sales expected to increase by 3%.