Teen apparel retailer Deb Shops Inc has reported a 50 per cent jump in third quarter profit to $1.8m from $1.2m in the same period last year.

The company said diluted earnings per share increased to $0.13 from $0.09 a year ago.

Third-quarter net sales totalled $75.3 million versus $74.8m last time, whilst gross profit totalled $20.2m.. 

Net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2005 was $7.3m, or $0.53 per diluted share, versus $4.2m, or $0.30 per diluted share, in the same period last year.

Nine-month net sales increased 1.5 per cent to $221.2m from $218.0m. Gross profit was up to $64.6m from $60.0m last time.

During the third quarter, Deb Shops opened three new stores, remodelled four existing locations, converted six junior stores to junior/plus combination stores and closed two stores.

The company currently operates 330 specialty apparel stores in 41 states under the DEB and Tops 'n Bottoms names.