• Q4 profit up 18.7% to $12.9m from $10.9m
  • Net sales increased 15.7% to $219.9m from $190.1m
  • Comparable store sales were down 2.2% 

Teen apparel retailer Rue21 Inc has booked an 18.7% jump in fourth quarter profit, thanks to higher sales and efforts to avoid steep promotions.

An even better 28.8% jump was seen in net income for the full year, rising to $39.0m or $1.55 per share, from $30.2m or $1.21 per share, the year before.

Full-year sales were up 19.8% to $760.3m, and comparable-store sales edged up 0.4%. The company, which operates 755 stores saw its gross margin climb 70 bps to 37.7%.

"In fiscal 2011 we were again able to meet our short and long-term objectives despite the promotional environment and economic pressures," said president and CEO Bob Fisch.

"We maintained our planned promotional cadence throughout 2011, allowing us to achieve margin expansion during a period when much of the sector suffered from margin erosion."

Looking ahead, the retailer expects full-year earnings to rise to a range of $1.74 to $1.79 per share, with same-store sales up by low single digits.

"Our spring merchandise assortment has resonated well with our customers," Fisch added. "February has historically been a strong volume month for Rue, and we again achieved sales that support our guidance for the quarter."