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Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

Women's clothing retailer Reitmans Ltd. posted improved second-quarter earnings Tuesday, thanks in part to improved same store sales.

Montreal-based Reitmans, which operates almost 1,000 stores under various banners across Canada, said Tuesday it posted a profit of $39.8-million in the quarter ended July 31, with earnings per diluted share of 59 cents.

That compares with a profit of $26.4-million or 38 cents per share for the same period in 2009, the Montreal-based company said Tuesday.

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Over all, sales increased about 3 per cent to $295.7-million from $286-million, with sales at stores open at least a year up 1.5 per cent in the quarter, Reitmans said in a news release.

As of July 31, the company was operating 977 stores consisting of 366 Reitmans, 161 Smart Set, 67 RW & Co., 76 Thyme Maternity, 21 Cassis, 165 Penningtons and 121 Addition Elle, compared with a total of 971 stores last year.

During the second quarter, Reitmans said it opened seven new stores comprised of two Reitmans, one Smart Set, one RW & Co., one Thyme Maternity and two Cassis. However, 12 stores were closed.

Reitmans said it planned to open 13 new stores, close six existing ones and remodel 12 others.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share payable Oct. 28 to shareholders of record on Oct. 14.

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