Men's clothing chain Jos A Bank Clothiers Inc on Tuesday posted a 23 per cent jump in first quarter net profit from the year-ago period on the back of an increased store base and higher catalogue sales.

The Maryland-based operator of 175 stores reported earnings of $2.2 million, or 30 cents per share, in the 13 weeks to May 3 compared to $1.7m, or 25 cents per share, in 2002.

Sales increased 11.6 per cent to $62.3m from $55.8m as it opened 15 new stores with same-store down 0.6 per cent but combined catalogue and internet sales up 15.7 per cent.

"We are pleased to continue our trend of record earnings despite having to deal with a difficult retail environment that was negatively impacted by snowstorms early in the quarter, as well as the war in Iraq," said CEO Robert Wildrick.

"Our 15 new store openings in the first quarter are on track with our goal of opening approximately 50 stores this year and our plan to increase the chain to 500 stores by the end of 2007."

The retailer also reaffirmed its full year earnings outlook of $1.75 to $1.85 per share from $1.55 in fiscal 2002.