• Q4 profit increased 48% to $36.9m
  • Q4 sales up 6.7% to $925.1m
  • Full-year net income grew 56.3% to $74.7m
  • FY sales rose 8.1% to $3bn.

Upscale retailer Saks Inc has seen its fourth-quarter net income surge on the back of strong sales of apparel, handbags, jewellery, fragrances and men's accessories.

"I am extremely pleased with our improved operating performance for both the fourth quarter and the fiscal year," said chairman and CEO Stephen Sadove.

"Our comparable store sales rose 7.7% in the fourth quarter, in line with our expectations and on top of an 8.4% comparable store sales increase in last year's fourth quarter. For the full fiscal year, our comparable store sales rose 9.5%, among the best in retail."

Profit in the three months to 28 January jumped 48% to US$36.9m, as sales rose 6.7% to $925.1m. Saks Direct posted 21% comparable-store sales growth.

For the full-year, net income increased 56.3% to $74.7m on the back of an 8.1% sales increase to $3bn. Gross margin expanded to 40.8%.

"We are pleased with our full year gross margin expansion of 70 basis points which reflected a healthier luxury environment, more full-priced selling, and reduced promotional activity," said chairman and CEO Stephen Sadove.

For 2012, the company is forecasting comparable-store sales of 5-7%, with gross margin to be "modestly higher" on the prior year.