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HAMPSTEAD, MD-The opening of 58 new stores helped sales increase approximately 20% during the second quarter for men’s clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank, driving net income to $7 million and sending earnings per share up 27%.

The Hampstead, MD-based company, which operates 340 stores nationwide, said it expects to open about 50 stores by the end of the year and is evaluating the firm’s ability to sustain more than 500 US locations.

The addition of the new stores along with strong demand for dress shirts and casual wear helped boost net sales for the quarter ended July 29, 2006 by approximately 20%, David Ullman, CFO, said in a conference call announcing the quarterly earnings. Comparable store sales were also up 10%, due largely to increased customer traffic, he said.

For the quarter, net income was $7 million, up nearly $2 million from the previous year’s second quarter when net income was $5.3 million. Earnings per share were up 27%, or 38 cents, compared to 30 cents in the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

For the first six months of the fiscal year, net income increased to $12.8 million compared to $12.1 million in the first half of 2005. Earnings per share were also up 4%, or 70 cents, compared to 67 cents per share earnings in the first six months of the previous year.

Ullman also reaffirmed that the company expects to earn at least $2.15 per share in fiscal 2006, an increase of at least 10% over the prior year’s $1.95 per share earnings.

The second quarter results were a turnaround from this year’s first quarter when the men’s clothing retailer reported that margin-cutting incentives aimed at moving its winter inventory caused earnings to drop nearly $1 million. Ullman called that earnings decline “an aberration in our growth period,” saying the drop was due largely to increased customer demand for fall merchandise, which resulted in less demand for the firm’s line of year-round clothing.

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