Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc. said Wednesday first-quarter earnings more than doubled as sales rose.

For the three months ended Oct. 27, earnings reached $78.8 million from $27.2 million in the same year-ago period. Sales grew 9 percent to $1.13 billion from $1.04 billion. Total same-store sales increased 6.5 percent and went up 5.8 percent in November.

The company said operating earnings for the first quarter of the 2008 fiscal year were $189.7 million compared with $154.3 million a year ago. On an adjusted basis, operating earnings for the quarter were $175.2 million compared with $168.1 million for the same year-ago quarter. Neiman’s also said it recorded income of $32.5 million in the current three-month period, which represents a one-time gain due to the company’s decision to freeze pension and retirement benefits as of Dec. 31.

For complete coverage, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.

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