Women's apparel retailer AnnTaylor Stores Corp more than doubled its third quarter profit to $24.9 million, or 53 cents per share. This compares with $12.1 million, or 27 cents per share, earned in the same period of the prior year and is attributed to increased sales of full-priced clothing.

For the quarter ended 2 November the company, which operates Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft stores, sales rose 9.5 per cent to $340.2 million. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.1 per cent. Inventory in the quarter was down 22 per cent per square foot from a year ago.

The company backed guidance for fourth-quarter profit of 32 cents to 33 cents a share and full-year profit of $1.69 to $1.70.