Fourth quarter net sales increased 40.6% to $86.7 million Fourth quarter comparable boutique sales increased 9.2% Fourth quarter diluted earnings per share increased 73.7% to $0.33HOUSTON, March 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Francesca's Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq:FRAN) today reported a 73.7% increase in earnings per diluted share of $0.33 for the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013 compared to $0.19 per diluted share for the same quarter last year. Net sales in the fourth quarter were $86.7 million, an increase of 40.6% compared with net sales of $61.7 million during the same period in fiscal 2011. Net earnings of $14.9 million increased 78.0% compared to net earnings of $8.4 million for the same quarter last year. Neill Davis, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We delivered another quarter of strong growth and profitability as the company's differentiated shopping experience continues to resonate with new and existing customers. We are well positioned with the teams and capabilities to continue expansion of our boutique base, increase boutique productivity and further develop our direct-to-customer presence. Looking ahead, we continue our growth trajectory with 80 openings for fiscal 2013, reaching the milestone of over 400 locations by the end of the first quarter." Francesca's follows the NRF reporting calendar, which included an extra week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 (the 53rd week). In the 53rd week, the Company had net sales of approximately $3.9 million, representing an approximate $0.03 increase to earnings per diluted share for both the quarter and fiscal year. The 53rd week is not included in comparable boutique sales calculations. FOURTH QUARTER SUMMARY Net sales for the fourteen weeks increased 40.6% to $86.7 million. Net sales increases were driven by a 9.2% comparable boutique sales increase following a 14.7% increase in the prior year period and 77 new boutique openings since the end of the prior year quarter. The comparable sales increase was driven primarily by increased transactions. In addition, the increase in net sales was driven by strong growth in our clothing and jewelry categories.