The performance of a new Midland store has helped women's clothing chain Hobbs to forecast record annual profits.
The company, which has 98 stores across the UK, yesterday said first quarter sales soared by almost a third.
It defied the recent high street gloom by posting a 31 per cent hike in total sales in the three months to April 29.
Hobbs said it now expected to bank record profits of £19 million this year - up 25 per cent - and cited new stores in Solihull and Liverpool and strong demand for its spring/summer range for the improvement.
A spokeswoman said the company was delighted with the progress of the Solihull outlet, which employs ten people and has 1,700 sq ft of floor space.
And chief executive Nick Samuel said: "Hobbs continues to go from strength to strength. The first quarter of 2006 has seen outstanding performance and we have every confidence that this will continue."
The firm also unveiled plans to expand beyond its traditional womenswear line for the first time in its 25-year history as it looked to move into homeware and eyecare.
The homewares range will include bedding, cushions and kitchenware, while eyecare will involve stylish spectacle frames.
It is thought that if the move is successful, Hobbs could consider looking at a mens-wear range. The company said the 31 per cent rise in sales in the first quarter of this year was "substantially ahead of expectations".
It came as other retailers struggled to deal with tough trading conditions as sales of spring and summer clothes were hit by cold weather.
It also followed a return to form for more traditional women's clothing amid signs that last year's surge in popularity for boho chic was fading.
Brands such as Whistles and Monsoon have said the lack of such a trend this year had hit sales - which yesterday looked to have boosted the more upmarket Hobbs.
Hobbs added that the new stores in Liverpool and Solihull were "performing well ahead of expectations", exceeding forecasts by 25 per cent. Hobbs said it was on target to open a further four stores this year and ten concessions. Group margins have also increased after improvements to stock control.
Hobbs will announce its results for the year to end January on May 24.