Women’s wear retailer Reitmans (Canada) has booked a 56.9% jump in fourth quarter earnings, helped by strong comparisons with last year’s results which were weighed down by a tax item.

For the three months to 30 January, earnings rose to CAD14.09m (US$13.8m) or CAD0.21 per share, from CAD8.98m or CAD0.13 per share in the same period last year.

Sales for the fourth quarter rose 2.4% to CAD268.12m, while same-store sales were up by1.5%.

For the full year, net earnings dropped 21.6% to CAD67.24m or CAD0.98 per share, down from CAD85.81m or CAD1.21 last year.

Annual sales edged up by 0.5% to $1.06bn, from $1.05bn a year ago. But same-store sales were down by 1.0%.

At the year-end the company had 977 stores in operation compared with 973 stores at the same time last year.