By  on March 24, 2008

Ross Stores Inc. posted fourth-quarter and full-year earnings growth, buoyed by strong sales in its dresses and footwear categories.

For the three months ended Feb. 2, income rose 1.5 percent to $94.5 million, or 70 cents a diluted share, from $93.1 million, or 66 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales rose 2.7 percent to $1.65 billion from $1.61 billion, while same-store sales grew 2 percent.

For the full year, income grew by 8 percent to $261.1 million, or $1.90 a diluted share, from $241.6 million, or $1.70, a year earlier. Sales jumped 7.3 percent to $5.98 billion from $5.57 billion.

"Our ability to deliver compelling bargains to customers allowed us to successfully navigate the challenging retail climate, reflecting the resiliency of our off-price business model. The strongest regions for both the fourth quarter and the year were the Northwest and Texas, while dresses, home and shoes were the best-performing merchandising categories," said Michael Balmuth, vice chairman, president and chief executive officer.

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