• Q3 profit up 18.8% to $19m
  • Sales increased 9.6% to $202.9m
  • FY earnings guidance lifted to $2.66 to $2.71 per share

US sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports has lifted its full-year earnings guidance after it booked an 18.8% increase in third-quarter net profit on the back of strong back-to-school sales.

Net income reached US$19m during the 13 weeks to 27 October, compared to $16m the prior year. Operating income jumped 21% to $30.3m.

The retailer said net sales were up 9.6% to $202.9m, while comparable store sales climbed 6.4%.

"The back-to-school season, particularly in August, was as strong as we had anticipated," said CEO and president Jeff Rosenthal.

"The positive trends in apparel and footwear, along with our continued focus on local assortments and exceptional inventory control, resulted in significant margin expansion and another increase to our fiscal 2013 guidance. We are well positioned to maintain this positive momentum during the upcoming holiday season."

The company now expects full-year earnings to range from $2.66 to $2.71 per share, compared to earlier guidance of between $2.57 and $2.67. It also aims to open 57-60 new stores, expand 17 and close up to 18 stores for the full-year.

Hibbett also revealed it will start building its 412,000-sq ft wholesale and logistics facility in Alabama during the first quarter of fiscal 2014.