Trendy lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters Inc today (6 March) said its fourth quarter profit soared by 50.1% on strong same-store sales at its Anthropologie and Free People brands.

For the three months to 31 January, net income rose to $53.6m, or $0.32 a share, from $35.7m, or $0.21 a share, a year ago.

Sales surged 29% in the quarter to a record $465m. Comparable store sales at Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters rose by 18%, 19% and 6%, respectively, for a combined 11% increase.

Direct-to-consumer sales increased by 39%, while Free People Wholesale delivered a robust 34% rise.

Glen T Senk, chief executive officer, said the company achieved a 388 basis point improvement in operating margin for the quarter.

He added: "Despite the challenging retail environment, we remain optimistic for the spring season based on the positive feedback to our fashion assortment thus far this year."

The company also managed to increase its gross profit margins by 287 basis points through lower merchandise markdowns.

For the 12-months, profit rose 37.9% to $160.2m or $0.94 per share, from $116.2m or $0.69 per share.

Total company sales for the year increased by 23% to a record $1.5bn.

Urban Outfitters operates 122 Urban Outfitters stores, 108 Anthropologie stores and the Free People wholesale division and 15 stores.