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TJX profits up on Marmaxx strength

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Helped by a better than expected sales and earnings performance at its core Marmaxx retail group, where operating profits shot up 40 percent, first-quarter earnings at parent The TJX Companies rocketed up 48.1 percent, to $168.1 million from $113.5 million last year.

Sales at the off-price giant soared 20.2 percent, to $3.4 billion from $2.8 billion last year, helped by a 28 percent increase at HomeGoods, and a 12.6 percent gain at Marmaxx. Same-store sales improved 8 percent.

Driving the bottom-line improvement, in addition to the stronger sales, TJX bulked up margins, pared costs and held a tight rein on inventories.

Edmond English, president and CEO, said, "We are extremely pleased with our strong first quarter performance, as we achieved top- and bottom-line results that were even greater than the significant year-over-year increases we had planned. We saw great customer response to fresh, spring women's apparel, and continued benefit from our strategy of buying close to need, which helped drive strong comparable store sales and merchandise margins.

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