• Q3 earnings at US$11.9m
  • Gross margin expands 60 bps
  • Sales grow 8.7%

Off-price apparel retailer Burlington Stores has moved to a profit in its third-quarter and upped its earnings forecast for the full year.

In the three months ended 1 November, adjusted net income amounted to US$11.9m, versus a loss of $3.3m a year ealier.

CEO Tom Kingsbury, said the group's performance was highlighted by better-than-expected net sales, comparable store sales and earnings, providing a great start to the fall season.

Gross margin expanded by 60 basis points to 39.6%, offset by a 70 basis point increase in product sourcing costs.

Net sales increased 8.7%, to $1.16bn, and included a 5.2% increase in comparable store sales driven by improved execution, as well as an increase of $41.5m from new and non-comparable stores.

Kingsbury added: "Our consistent performance reflects the ongoing success of our off-price model and the continually improving execution by our team. Our positive outlook is reflected in our increased comp sales and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and the full year."

For the full year, the company expects total sales to increase in the range of 7.5% to 7.8%, versus previous expectations of an increase of 6.5% to 7.2% and comparable store sales for the full year to be around 4%.

Fully diluted adjusted net income per share is expected to be in the range of $1.65 to $1.67 per share.