US retailer Stage Stores overcame the difficulties posed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to post record sales in financial 2005.

Total sales stood at US$1.344bn in 2005, 8.1% up on US$1.244bn in 2004. Net income was US$55.9m, compared to US$51.4m in 2004.

Chairman and chief executive Jim Scarborough said: "Despite the enormous challenges that were thrown at us by Mother Nature, all in all, 2005 was a very successful year. We posted record sales and achieved double-digit diluted earnings per share growth."

Although 36 new stores were opened during the year, four had to be closed owing to hurricane damage, three of which are due to reopen shortly.

The company has recently acquired BC Moore & Sons, 69 of whose 78 stores will be converted under the Peebles name. It will also open 35 new stores during the year and is set to join the New York Stock Exchange on 16 March.