NORWALK, Conn. — Caldor Corp. reported earnings before a special charge rose 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter and gained 11 percent in the year.

In the quarter ended Jan. 29, Caldor $37.8 million before a extraordinary charge of $3.8 million to redeem debt. The charge reduced net earnings to $34.1 million, or $2.03 a share.

In the year-ago quarter, Caldor earned $36.3 million, or $2.45 a share. Sales in the latest quarter rose 14.4 percent to $858.5 million from $740.5 million.

In the year, earnings before a charge rose to $41.4 million from $37.3 million, or $2.35 a share. After a charge of $5.4 million to retire debt, earnings in the latest year came to $33.2 million.

Same-store sales increased 0.4 percent in the quarter and 1.9 percent in the year.

In 1994, Caldor plans to open 14 to 17 new stores. Caldor operates 150 upscale discount stores, primarily in the Northeast.

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