American mid-price retailer, Kohl's, said its net profit rose 43 per cent for the first quarter.

Net income for the first quarter ending May 5 rose to $75.1m or 22 cents a diluted share.

The retailer has seen earnings soar and has pencilled out a plan to turn itself into a national retailer by expanding to the south west and California in 2003.

Sales rose 21 per cent to $1.49bn from $1.23bn, on top of a 35 per cent increase in the first quarter last year.

In the same period, Kohl's continued its expansion plans by opening 34 new stores, bringing the total to 354 stores in 28 states.