Clothing retailer Chico's FAS Inc has reported a 45.1 per cent jump in second-quarter profit to $35 million, from $24m last year.

The Fort Myers, Florida-based company said net sales rose 46.9 per cent to a record $255 million, versus $173m for the same period in the year before.

Same-store sales for company-owned stores increased 14.1 per cent for the 13-week period ended 31 July.

For the six month period, net sales increased 49.4 per cent to a record $512m, from $342m for the first-half of 2003.

Net income rose 48.8 per cent to $71 m, or $0.79 a diluted share, compared to net income of $48 m, or $0.55 a diluted share, in the prior-year period.

Same-store sales in the first-half rose 17.0 per cent.

Chico's operates under the Chico's, White House Black Market, and Soma by Chico's names.