Value-focused retailer Citi Trends is set to open more than 40 new stores this year after seeing a near-doubling of net income during 2005.

Fourth quarter sales rose 46% to US$96.8m, showing a 22.8% comparable store sales increase. Net income was also up by 61.9% to US$7.9m.

That brought net income for fiscal 2005 to US$14.2m, compared to US$7.3m in 2004. Net sales were up 42.5% to US$289.8m, with comparable store sales showing a 16.7% increase.

The company expects to see a 20-25% increase in sales and net income next year, opening 42-45 new stores and closing two. Comparable store sales are predicted at 1-3%.