Discount clothing group The TJX Companies Inc has posted a 10 per cent rise in thrid quarter profit, helped by cool weather in October.

Net income at the group, which owns the TJ Maxx and Marshalls chains, was $200.9 million, or 41 cents a share, for the third quarter ended 30 October, up from $182.8 million, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier. 

Overall net sales grew 13 per cent to $3.8 billion, with same-store sales increasing 4 per cent over the prior year.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2005, net sales were $10.6bn, up 15 per cent over last year, and year-to-date consolidated comparable store sales increased 5 per cent over last year. Net income was $487m, and diluted earnings per share were $.98 -up 21 per cent over last year.

Marmaxx Group (the combination of TJ Maxx and Marshalls,) saw third-quarter sales increase 5 per cent over last year, whilst comparable store sales increased 2 per cent. Segment profit increased 7 per cent to $284m and segment profit margin was 10.6 per cent.

Sales of ladies' apparel were strong during the quarter the company said.

At its Canadian divisions, Winners and HomeSense, third-quarter sales increased 23 per cent and comparable store sales increased 10 per cent in US dollars.

At TK Maxx in the UK and Ireland, third-quarter sales increased 38 per cent and comparable store sales increased 15 per cent in US dollars.

The AJ Wright division posted a 25 per cent increase in sales in the third quarter. At Bob's Stores, which was acquired in December 2003, total sales were $81m.