Sears, Roebuck and Co, the No. 4 US retailer on Thursday posted a 12 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profits but admitted that last year's profits had plunged hundreds of millions of dollars compared with 2000. Fourth-quarter 2001 earnings topped $494 million, up from $442m, despite sales in Sears' retail division dropping 3.5 per cent to $9.49 billion in the festive period compared to the year prior.