Department store business Macy’s is hailing a “successful” holiday trading season after reporting comparable store sales up 4.3% during November and December.

The company, which is due to announce fourth quarter sales and earnings on 25 February, expects its comps to have grown by 2.8-2.9% in the second half of the year, narrowing its guidance range from a previous figure of 2.5-4%.

It maintained its full-year earnings guidance of US$3.80-3.90 per diluted share, excluding charges related to the cost reduction programme it also announced yesterday (8 January).

“Even in a questionable macroeconomic environment with challenging weather in multiple states, the positive response from our customers during the holiday season is yet another vote of confidence that our well-established strategies continue to work for us,” said company chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren.

Turning to fiscal 2014, Macy’s expects comparable store sales to increase by 2.5-3%, accompanied by earnings per diluted share of $4.40-4.50.

Separately, the retail giant said it is to lay off some 2,500 workers in a round of cost reductions designed to save the business about US$100m a year.