Women’s private-label apparel retailer Chico's FAS saw net sales increase 39.8% to a record $125.1 million, from $89.5 million for the second quarter ended August 4.

Meanwhile, net income rose 47.8% to $16.4 million, or $.19 cents per diluted share. Comparable store sales for the company-owned stores (franchisees own 11 of 339 Chico’s stores) increased 11.6% for the 13-week period ended August 3, 2002, compared to the same duration a year ago.

For the 6 months ended August 3, 2002, net sales increased 39.8% to $255.5 million, another company record, and comparable store sales increased 12.4% for the 26-week period.

"The second quarter again saw improvements in the gross and operating margins and, at the same time, we continued our significant investments in the future as we made major strides in our warehouse move to Atlanta, our new software initiatives and the development of our new concept, 'pazo,'" said Chico's CEO Marvin Gralnick. "We improved our cash and marketable securities position by almost $15 million to over $68 million, even after $34 million in capital expenditures for the six months."

In addition to justifying such capital outlays, today’s results also lend weight to Chico’s decision to expand its store coverage to a total of 650 locations nationwide.