SEATTLE — Women’s designer apparel and cosmetics were among the strongest areas for Nordstrom Inc. in a year which resulted in the firm’s strongest same-store sales gain since 1997, shareholders were told at the annual meeting here Tuesday.

With a 1.9 percent increase in fourth-quarter comps, same-store sales finished the year 1.4 percent ahead. Particularly profitable, officials said, was the cosmetics area, which accounts for 13 percent of sales and had a 6.5 percent comp increase last year. Women’s designer apparel advanced 9.3 percent on a comp basis.

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