Petco Animal Supplies ( PETC) reported increased first-quarter sales and earnings Wednesday, saying that its business showed "consistency and resiliency" despite the economic uncertainties, poor weather and war with Iraq that made life hard on many retailers.

The company earned $11.1 million, or 19 cents a share, in the latest quarter, including a charge of a penny a share for an accounting change. In the same period a year ago, the company earned $8.7 million, or 15 cents a share, excluding items.

Sales rose 10.2% to $384.7 million from $349.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales rose 4.6%, following a 9.3% comparable-store increase in the year-ago quarter.

Petco added 17 net new stores during the quarter, bringing its store base to 617 locations. The company expects to open 45 to 50 net new stores this year. Additionally, the company completed 11 remodels of existing stores in the quarter.

The company currently expects comparable-store sales to increase 5% to 6% for the second quarter and 6% for the full fiscal year. Petco forecast second-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 21 cents a share and full-year earnings of $1.09 to $1.11, before costs associated with the accounting change. Factoring in the adoption of a new accounting standard, the company expects to earn 18 cents to 19 cents in the second quarter and $1.02 to $1.04 for the year.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for a profit of 19 cents for the first quarter. Wall Street expects earnings of 21 cents in the second quarter and $1.07 for the fiscal year.

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