Saks Profit Surges on Gain

New York City Saks Inc. reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit almost doubled, helped by solid sales, cost controls and one-time gains.

The chain said earnings rose to $39.5 million during the three-month period ended Feb. 2, compared with $21.5 million in the prior-year period.

The results reflected a net gain of $10.4 million after taxes in the latest quarter. Items included a gain of $8.1 million associated with proceeds from an insurance settlement related to the New Orleans stores, which was destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Sales rose almost 5% to $999.7 million in the fourth quarter from $955 million in the year-ago period.

The company also said that same-store sales rose 3.4% in February. For the year, Saks earned $47.5 million, compared with $53.7 million a year earlier. Sales rose to $3.28 billion, up almost 12% from $2.94 billion in the previous year.