Chico's reports sales jumped 20 percent October to December

Fort Myers-based Chico's FAS Inc. has reported a fourth-quarter profit.

The women's apparel retailer said Wednesday that its October-December profit rose to $25.1 million, or 15 cents a share, from $20.7 million, or 12 cents, a year earlier.

Sales increased 20 percent, to $569.2 million, during that same quarter, the company reported. Comparable sales jumped 8.7 percent.

The company forecast sales of about $2.5 billion for the new fiscal year with comparable sales rising in the mid-single-digit rate. That exceeded the average Wall Street estimate of $2.43 billion.

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