Dallas-based closeout retailer Tuesday Morning reported a whopping 85% increase in second-quarter earnings and a 112% increase in first-half earnings for the period ending June 30, 2002.

The 502-store chain announced today that net earnings for the second quarter reached $4.5 million compared with $2.4 million in second quarter 2001. Net earnings for the first half of 2002 were $9.2 million compared with $4.3 million last year. In a prepared statement, president and CEO Kathleen Mason said an improved cash position, reduced current and long-term debt and reduced aged inventory helped the company excel.

According to U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, expansion rather than rising comps drove Tuesday Morning’s 8.5% increase in total 2Q sales. The retailer’s net store count increased by 9.3% during the past 12 months, while comp store sales rose just 0.1% for 2Q 2002 and 4.9% for the first half of 2002.