Clothing chain Les Boutiques San Francisco Inc has revealed it swung to a profit during the second quarter as sales jumped 11 per cent to C$63.3 million from C$57m in the year-ago period.

The Montreal-based operator of more than 180 stores under banners including San Francisco, L'Officiel, Bikini Village and West Coast, posted a profit of C$712,000 versus a loss of $376,000 in 2001.

In a statement, Les Boutiques said the turnaround in its fortunes was due to improved cost controls and higher sales brought about by better quality merchandise.

It added for the first half, its losses fell to C$517,000 from C$1.3m last year with sales up 9.5 per cent to C$119m from C$108.8m.

CEO Paul Delage Roberge commented: "We are satisfied with the second-quarter results, given the low sales levels achieved in our industry sector at the beginning of the second quarter.

"Timely and speedy renewal of our collections, superior customer service and rigorous control of operating expenses are the key elements in the improvement of our financial performance."