• Q3 net income up 22.4% to $8.7m
  • Sales rose 18.8% to $194.8m
  • Same-store sales remained flat 

New store openings have helped value fashion retailer Rue21 Inc to a 22.4% jump in third-quarter profit.

The company, which operates 757 stores, opened 30 new stores and converted 8 stores to the larger Rue21 etc! format in the three months to 29 October. This helped lift net sales by 18.8% to $194.8m, while same-store sales remained flat.

Net income increased to $8.7m from $7.1m, and a 20 bps rise in merchandise margin contributed to a 10 bps rise in gross margin to 36.7%.

"We believe our ability to offer fashion at every day great value continues to provide us with growth opportunities in any economy," said president and CEO Bob Fisch. "Our ability to control promotions and run at regular price on our trend right fashion items enabled us to post a gross margin increase for the quarter as we have done consistently every quarter this year."

He added that the retailer is "encouraged" by the success of its new stores.