Second-quarter profit at Reitmans (Canada) Ltd climbed 70 per cent to $13.6 million the women's clothing retailer reported Thursday, boosted by its acquisition of Shirmax Fashions at the beginning of June.

Total sales jumped 41.3 per cent to $201.7 million and comparable-store sales increased 9.1 per cent. However, net earnings fell to $1.58 a share compared with $8 million or 95 cents per share a year earlier.

Reitmans acquired Shirmax of Montreal for $87-million deal, adding 175 stores to its exiting line-up of more than 800 Penningtons, Reitmans, Smart Set-Dalmys and Addition-Elle stores.

For the first-half ended 3 August, Reitmans' sales grew 26.5 per cent to $327.8 million. Net earnings for the six month period rose 53.2 per cent to $18.7 million.