Vancouver-based fashion chain Aritzia continued to outperform rival fashion retailers in the second quarter, with double-digit sales and adjusted earnings growth.

Net revenue for the quarter, which ended Aug. 27, rose 10.2 per cent to $174 million from $157.9 million a year ago, as the retailer ended the period with 83 stores, up from 75 a year ago.

“We are pleased with our strong financial results for the second quarter as we continued to deliver double-digit revenue growth, in addition to significant normalized margin expansion,” said Brian Hill, Aritzia’s chief executive, in a statement after markets closed.

“Our net revenue was driven by our new and expanded stores, meaningful growth in our e-commerce business and continued growth in our comparable store sales.”

Many fashion retailers and department store chains have been struggled in 2017 amid Amazon’s increased share of the apparel market and rising competition from fast-fashion players such as Forever 21 and H&M.

At Montreal-based Reitmans, sales and earnings trends have improved in the past year as the retailer has closed its weaker stores, but it has not shown the robust growth of Aritzia. Comparable second-quarter sales at Reitmans were up 2.5 per cent in the period ended July 29. At Montreal-based Le Chateau, they fell 1.7 per cent in the second quarter ended July 29.

At Aritzia, earnings swung to $5 million from a net loss of $67.3 million. Adjusted earnings rose 12 per cent to $10.4 million, or nine cents per share, from $9.3 million (8 cents) a year earlier. Gross profit margin was 36.3 per cent during the quarter.

Same-store sales, a key barometer of retail performance, climbed 5.4 per cent.

Financial Post

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