Women’s specialty retailer New York & Company Inc. said on Thursday fourth-quarter earnings rose 14.4 percent, fueled by strong holiday sales.

In the three months ended Jan. 28, the company earned $20.6 million, or 36 cents a diluted share, compared with $18 million, or 32 cents, a year ago. Analysts had also been expecting a profit of 36 cents in the most recent quarter.

Net sales rose 16.1 percent to $351.6 million, while same-store sales were up 9.6 percent.

Annual net profits came in at $58.5 million, or $1.02, more than tripling the previous year‘s income of $17.4 million, or 33 cents. Net sales rose 8.7 percent to $1.13 billion.

“We ended the year solidly. Our fourth quarter results demonstrate the success of our holiday assortments, which drove strong sales growth and earnings at the high end of our expectations,” Richard P. Crystal, New York & Company’s Chairman and CEO, said in a written statement. “For the year, we are pleased to have met our goals of increasing store productivity and strengthening our positioning as a premier destination for our customers.”

Shares of New York & Co. were up 1.3 percent at $15.97 in Thursday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.

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