US discount retailer Dollar General has reported a 31.4% jump in net income for its fourth quarter, on the back of increased sales.

The company said yesterday (22 March) that net income reached US$293m over the 14 weeks ended 3 February. Operating profit increased 24% to $508m for the quarter. Net sales jumped 20.1% to $4.19bn and same-store sales grew 6.5%.

Cost reduction efforts and increased sales helped lower company expenses.

For the full year, Dollar General reported a 22.1% increase in net income to $767m. Operating profit jumped 17% to $1.49bn. Net sales rose 13.5% to $14.81bn, as same-store sales climbed 6%.

"The strategies and investments we have put in place over the last four years have helped us capture the market share, customer loyalty and operating efficiencies that are driving our results. I believe those strategies and investments, along with the ones we have planned for 2012, will continue to serve us well," Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO said.

Looking ahead, Dollar General said it expects another profitable year and is forecasting an adjusted EPS of between $2.65 and $2.75. It is forecasting sales will rise 8% to 9% on the 2011 fiscal year.

However, the company said the economic environment continues to put pressure on consumers and the costs.