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Sales and profits up at TJX

Framingham, Mass. -- The TJX Cos.' fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 7%, topping its own forecasts, as the discount retailer's sales improved.

The company reported a better-than-expected profit of $372.3 million, up from $347.8 million in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 5% to $5.53 billion, from $5.24 billion. Same-store sales increased 1%.

"We were able to sustain last year's significant increase in profit margin by continuing to run our business with lean inventories, which has led to additional improvement in merchandise margins," said president and CEO Carol Meyrowitz said. "Customer traffic continued to be up over large increases last year despite warm weather in September and October, which dampened demand for cold weather apparel."

TJX operates 919 T.J. Maxx, 832 Marshalls, 336 HomeGoods, and 161 A.J. Wright stores in the United States. In Canada, the company operates 212 Winners, 82 HomeSense and 3 Stylesense stores, and in Europe, 304 T.K. Maxx and 24 HomeSense stores.

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