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Chico’s swings to profit


Fort Myers, Fla. Chico’s said Wednesday that it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $17.5 million from a loss of $40.5 million a year earlier.

Sales in the quarter ended Jan. 30 rose to $435.7 million from $373.4 million. Same-store sales increased 15%. The Chico's/Soma Intimates brands' comp-store sales increased 11.6%, compared with a 16.1% decrease for the like period last year. White House|Black Market brand's comp-store sales increased 21.2%, compared with a 5.0% decrease for the like period last year.

Separately, the company also initiated a quarterly dividend of 4 cents a share since it became a public company in March 1993. The dividend will be payable on March 22 to Chico's shareholders of record as of March 8.

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