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PHILADELPHIA-Buoyed by additional stores, higher sales and an increase in its wholesale and direct business, clothing and accessory retailer Urban Outfitters saw its profits soar by 43% in the third quarter, marking the best quarter in the company’s history.

The company, which operates more than 120 stores under the Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People brands in the United States, Canada and Europe, said earnings for the quarter ending Oct. 31 totaled $37.2 million, or 22 cents per share, an increase from $26 million or 15 cents per share a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter also was up, increasing 34% to $288.8 million compared to $216.4 million last year with same-store sales up 13%. A 28% increase in the number of stores in operation along with a 32% hike in direct sales and strong wholesale figures that more than doubled since last year, helped fuel the strong financial numbers, the company said.

“All of our brands delivered record performances in the third quarter resulting in 21% operating income–the highest in the company’s history,” board of directors chairman Richard Hayne told investors and analysts in a conference call Thursday.

Hayne said the strong financial figures were aided by the opening of 36 new stores during the quarter, which along with stores opened less than a year, added $31.7 million to the company’s revenues, accounting for 45% of the retailer’s total revenue increase. A 13% increase in comparable store sales accounted for 32% of total revenue gain while a 109% surge in Free People wholesale sales, driven by department store orders and a 14% uptick in the average unit wholesale selling price, accounted for 13% of the total revenue gain. Direct-to-consumer sales for the quarter also rose by 32%, reflecting 10% of the total revenue increase, he said.

The quarterly results helped boost shareholder equity by 39% from the same period last year, accounting for a $145-million increase that put total shareholder equity above the half-billion-dollar mark for the first time in the company’s history.

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