Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters Inc has posted record earnings of $18.4 million for the fourth quarter, an increase of 120 per cent year-on-year.

The Philadelphia-based company, which operates the Anthropologie chain and Free People wholesale business, also reported 50 per cent year-on-year sales growth to $176.1m for the quarter.

Comparable store sales at the Urban Outfitters chain grew 21 per cent during the fourth quarter, while those at Anthropologie increased 22 per cent.

Chairman Richard Hayne said he was "pleased" with the company's fourth quarter performance and that of fiscal 2003 as a whole.

"We produced strong double-digit 'comp' store sales gains across all regions while significantly improving margins," he said of the 12-month period.

"In addition, we opened 21 new stores and produced explosive growth in our direct-to-consumer business."