Full-priced selling bolstered gross margins at Nordstrom Inc. leading to a 22 percent profit gain on a 14.6 sales increase for the fourth quarter. Year-end results were equally impressive for the Seattle-based department store.

For the period ended Feb. 3, Nordstrom posted net income that rose to $232.3 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, from $190.4 million, or 69 cents a share, in the prior year on sales that climbed to $2.6 billion from $2.3 billion. Same-store sales gained 8.3 percent, well ahead of the company’s estimate of an increase of one to three percent.

For the year, net earnings leapt 23 percent to $678 million, or $2.55 a share, from $551.3 million, or $1.98 a share, in the prior year on sales that rose 10.8 percent to $8.6 billion from $7.7 billion.

In a statement, the company said the gross margin rate for the quarter swelled 80 basis points to 38.3 percent versus 37.5 percent in the prior year. The retailer said strong “regular price sales across all major merchandise categories throughout the quarter and a successful holiday season” drove sales while the “merchandise margin improved versus the prior year, driven mainly by lower markdowns and higher sell-through of inventory, especially in women’s apparel.”

For complete coverage see tomorrow's issue of WWD.

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