European profits at the US parent of HomeSense and TK Maxx, The TJX Companies, have rocketed by 42%.
In the first quarter to May 2, TJX Europe, which includes homewares chain HomeSense as well as TK Maxx, profits rose to US$15.5m. Like-for-like sales were up 6%.
The TJX Companies saw total group sales up by 1% to US$4.35bn, while like-for-like store sales grew by 2% on those of the previous year.
Commenting on the results, The TJX Companies president and chief executive Carol Meyrowitz said they were “the strongest in our history and achieved despite the economic downturn.
“Customer traffic increased significantly across virtually all of our divisions.
“Our strategies of planning comparable store sales conservatively, running our business with lean inventories, and aggressively managing expenses drove strong bottom-line results.”
She said the company was encouraged by the performance of HomeSense in the UK, which continued to do better than expected.
There are currently eight HomeSense stores in the UK, in Poole, Cardiff, Bristol, Northampton, Manchester, Gloucester, Thurrock and Cambridge, with plans to build the chain to around 150 stores over the next five to seven years.