Women's lingerie and fashion retailer La Senza Corp on Wednesday announced plans to open its first store in China and swung into a first quarter profit of C$48,000 after a year-ago loss of C$265,000.

The Montreal-based operator of 461 stores said it had signed a master license agreement with a leading company in China for the operation of La Senza Lingerie and La Senza Girl stores in China, including Hong Kong, with the first store due to open in November.

It added first quarter sales climbed 6.6 per cent to C$83.3 million from C$78.2m in 2001, with same-store sales up 4.2 per cent. "The first quarter of fiscal 2002 was difficult for many Canadian apparel retailers due to adverse weather conditions," said chairman and CEO, Irving Teitelbaum.