Retailer Federated Department Stores Inc on Wednesday revealed better-than-expected second quarter diluted earnings per share of 66 cents compared to its original guidance of 50-60 cents a share.

The Cincinnati-based company said that figure compared to diluted earnings of 50 cents a share from continuing operations in the year-ago period, excluding restructuring charges related to the closing of Stern's and the conversion of Liberty House stores into Macy's.

It added its income from continuing operations rose 8.5 per cent to $133 million for the quarter ended August 3, compared to $124 million in 2001.

For the first half, it enjoyed earnings per share of $1.09, compared to 92 cents a share in the same period of 2001, excluding the restructuring charges. Federated’s income from continuing operations climbed 22 per cent to $222m from $182m last year.

Chairman and CEO James Zimmerman said the company's second quarter earnings performance reflects strong gross margins that more than offset weaker-than-anticipated sales.