• Q4 profit increased 14.1% to $161.4m
  • Sales rose 6.9% to $2.11bn
  • Full-year profit declined 27.6% to $336m

Department store chain Dillard's has seen its fourth-quarter profit rise after sales growth and efforts to control costs helped improve margins.

Net income reached US$161.4m for the 14 weeks to 2 February, up 14.1% from $141.5m last year. Excluding a $23.9m after-tax credit, Dillard's recorded net income of $137.6m, compared to $112.8m the year before.

Sales increased 6.9% to $2.11bn from $1.97bn the same period last year, while comparable store sales climbed 3%.

Growth was strongest in ladies' accessories and lingerie, as well as men's apparel and accessories. Gross margin improved to 34.4% from 33.9% the prior year.

Over the full-year, a 5.3% increase in sales to reach $6.59bn from $6.26bn last year was not enough to offset a decline in net profit. Net income declined 27.6% to $336m, compared to $463.9m the prior year.

Dillard's CEO William Dillard said: "We are pleased to report a strong finish to a very successful year at Dillard's. Our positive sales performance and gross margin expansion combined with expense control drove strong cash flow throughout the year.