Demand from budget-conscious consumers for discounted brand-name clothing has helped retailer Ross Stores Inc post a 29 per cent increase in third-quarter earnings.

Earnings for the quarter rose to $45.1 million, or 57 cents per share, from $35 million, or 43 cents per share in the previous year and were in line with expectations the firm said.

The company, which had 510 stores in operation at 2 November, said third-quarter net sales jumped 18 per cent from a year earlier, to $870 million. Same-store sales rose 7 per cent.

Speaking with analysts, chief executive Michael Balmuth confirmed the retailer's fourth-quarter earnings forecast of 71 cents per share. He added that same-store sales would grow 3 per cent in the fourth quarter, even though the firm was planning for flat same-store sales in November.