SAVAGE, Md. — The Cosmetic Center, Inc. reported earnings rose 24.2 percent in the first quarter ended Dec. 24 to $2.2 million, or 49 cents per share, from $1.7 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier.

Sales in the quarter were up 15.1 percent to $39.5 million, compared with $34.3 million. Comparable store sales were up 5.1 percent.

The company said it opened one store in the quarter, bringing the total to 51. It expects to open eight new stores by October and is negotiating leases for eight more.

The Cosmetic Center is a discounter of cosmetics, fragrances and beauty aids. The bulk of its stores are in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Baltimore.