Men's classically styled tailored and casual clothing chain, Jos A Bank Clothiers Inc, on Monday posted a 45 per cent year-on-year jump in fourth quarter net profit thanks to strong sales.

The Maryland-based operator of nearly 170 stores reported net income for the 13 weeks to February 1, of $6.4 million, or 89 cents a share, versus $4.4m, or 70 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Full year net profit surged 68 per cent to $10.9m, or $1.55 a share, from $6.5m, or $1.05 a share, in 2001.

Total sales for the quarter rose 15.8 per cent to $77.9m from $67.3m with same-store sales up 5.6 per cent. Total sales for 2002 climbed 15.4 per cent to a record $243.4m from $211m with same-store sales up 5.6 per cent.

CEO Robert Wildrick said in a statement he sees sales growth of at least 15 per cent in fiscal 2003 as the firm opens 50 new stores this year as part of its target of operating 500 stores over the next three to five years.

"We are proud to report another year of impressive growth in sales and earnings for Jos A Bank Clothiers, especially in light of the difficult retailing environment that has prevailed during the past several months," he said.

"As a result of the success of our merchandising strategy, which focuses upon providing a full complement of high-quality business and casual menswear and accessories at reasonable prices, Jos A Bank has emerged as the most dynamic brand in the specialty menswear market."

He continued: "While the gain in our first quarter earnings will be moderated by severe snowstorms in February and consumer anxiety regarding prospects for a war in Iraq, we believe that the successful execution of our store expansion program and merchandising strategy should allow earnings in FY2003 to reach $1.75-$1.85 per share, compared with recent consensus analyst estimates of approximately $1.67 per diluted share."