Retailer The Gymboree Corporation has posted a 9.3% rise in third quarter earnings after sales rose by 18%. 

Earnings for the quarter to 3 November were up to $26.9m or $0.91 per share, from $24.6m or $0.75 per share, in the same period of the prior year.

Total net sales were $250.7m, an increase of 18% compared to total net sales of $212.7 million for the third quarter last year.

Net sales from retail operations rose 18% to $247.6m from $210.0m. Comparable store increased 8%.

"Our markdown and promotional strategies allowed us to exceed our original gross margin dollar plan for the quarter despite a more promotional retail environment in the mall," Matthew McCauley, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The company, which operates 773 Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 stores in the US, expects a low single digit comparable store sales increase in the fourth quarter.

Fourth quarter earnings are forecast in the range of $0.78 to $0.80 per share, and fiscal year net income is likely to be between $2.54 and $2.56 per share.