Teenage clothing retailer Aeropostale Inc on Wednesday said that total net sales for the four-week period ended 1 February increased 36.4 per cent to $24.0 million, compared to $17.6 million for the same period of 2002. The company said January same-store sales rose by 4.6 per cent.

For the quarter, also ended 1 February, sales rose 30.6 per cent to $206.4 million – up from $158.0 million a year ago.

Julian R Geiger, chairman and CEO said the company expects fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.44 to $0.46 per diluted share versus prior guidance of $0.38 to $0.40.

This forecast has been raised because of better-than-expected margins, which were helped by lower inventory per square foot.