Leading retailer of large-size women's fashions, Charming Shoppes Inc, said on Monday its first quarter net profit almost doubled from the year-ago period as higher spring merchandise sales at its Lane Bryant unit cancelled out rising business costs.

The Pennsylvania-based company, which runs the Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant chains, said in a statement its net income surged to $16.3 million, or 14 cents a share, from $8.4m, or eight cents a share, in the year prior quarter.

The operator of 2,415 outlets said it now sees second quarter profit of 17-19 cents a share and full-year earnings of 41-43 cents per share. Earlier this month, Charming Shoppes revealed its quarterly sales leapt 60 per cent to $630.6m versus $394.4m in 2001 while same-store sales dipped one per cent.

Separately on Monday, the company announced it also intends to raise $130m through a senior convertible notes offering.