Upscale department store operator Nordstrom Inc has raised its earnings outlook for the year after posting a 43.8% hike in first quarter profit.

The Seattle-based retailer, which operates 193 stores, said it expects earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.65 per share for the year, up from earlier forecasts of $2.35 to $2.55.

The lift came as it reported net earnings of $116m or $0.52 per share for the quarter, up from $81m or $0.37 per share, in the same period last year.

Net sales for the three months to 1 May rose 16.7% to $1.99bn, up from $1.71bn last time. Same-store sales increased 12.0%.