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Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

Women's clothier Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. says its profit was 56.9 per cent higher in the fourth quarter compared with the year earlier, when its results were partly weighed down by a tax-related item.

The Montreal-based company said Monday that its profit was $14.1-million, or 21 cents per share, in the period ended Jan. 30. That's an increase from $9-million, or 13 cents per share, in the comparable period ended Jan. 31, 2009.

Sales grew 2.4 per cent to $268.1-million from $261.8-million, as same-store sales increased 1.5 per cent.

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In the quarter, Reitmans booked $503,000 in future tax losses, lower than the $2.8-million in the same period last year.

Reitmans' quarterly dividend was left unchanged at 18 cents per share.

For the year, profit slipped to $67.2-million, or 98 cents per share, from $85.8-million or $1.21 cents per share in 2008.

At the end of the period, Reitmans had 977 stores operating, compared with 973 at the same time a year earlier.

Shares of Reitmans were up 10 cents to $14.85 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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