Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co today (15 February) posted a jump in both fourth quarter and full-year profits on higher sales at its four store concepts.

The New Albany, Ohio-based firm said net income climbed 9% to $216.8m from $198.2m, while earnings per share rose 12% to $2.40 from $2.14. This year's quarter includes $0.04 per share of favourable tax adjustments.

Sales for the 13 weeks to 2 February increased 8% to $1.229bn from $1.139bn, although same-store sales - a key measure of performance - fell 1%.

By concept, sales at Abercrombie & Fitch increased 4% to $522.4m, with same-store sales up 1%. Hollister Co sales rose 11% to $530.9m, with comparable store sales dropping 2%.

The Abercrombie children's wear concept saw net sales rise 11% to $159.8m, but comparable store sales fell 3%.

Ruehl, which targets older graduates, saw net sales increase 16% to $15.6m but same-store sales tumbled 19%.

The company launched newest concept, lingerie retailer Gilly Hicks, in January.

Gross profit rate for the quarter rose 80 basis points to 67.2%, with a higher initial markup rate partially offset by a higher markdown rate.

For the full year, net income rose 13% to $475.7m, or $5.20 per share, from $422.2m or $4.59 per share in the last fiscal year.

Net sales were up 13% to $3.750bn from $3.318bn, but fiscal 2007 comparable store sales fell 1%.

For fiscal 2008, the company expects to open 110 new North American stores including four new Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 67 new Hollister stores, 17 Abercrombie stores, six Ruehl stores and 16 Gilly Hicks stores.

It also plans to take its Hollister Co stores to the UK, where it opened its first Abercrombie & Fitch store in London last year.

For the first half of fiscal 2008 net income per diluted share is expected to be in the range of $1.61 to $1.65, a 5-8% increase over the first half of 2007.

The low end of the earnings guidance reflects a negative 1% comparable store sales scenario for the first half of the coming year, it said.

The company currently operates 355 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 201 Abercrombie stores, 447 Hollister Co stores, 22 Ruehl stores and three Gilly Hicks stores in the US, as well as six stores in Canada, and one Abercrombie & Fitch store in the UK.