Stronger sales, greater profit for Claire’s

Jewelry and accessories retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. on Thursday reported a second-quarter profit versus a loss a year ago, driven by stronger sales in its North American and Icing divisions.

Net sales climbed 8% to $238.7 million, from $221.3 million last year, while sales at its stores open at least a year rose 4%, Reuters reported.

Pembroke Pines, Florida-based Claire’s, which caters to teens with its 2,900 boutiques, posted net income of $16.9 million, or 35 cents a share, versus a loss of $5.9 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier, Reuters reported. Excluding a gain from a discontinued operation, Claire’s reported a profit of $15.1 million, or 31 cents per share, compared with an operating loss of $1 million, or 2 cents per share in the year-ago period.

The retailer, which had raised estimates for its second quarter twice, said it expected operating earnings for the third quarter of 11 cents per share, up from 7 cents a year earlier, Reuters reported.