TARGET PROFITS LIFTED BY HOLIDAY SALES

US RETAILER Target has posted a 10.5 per cent increase in quarterly profit, helped by strong sales early in the holiday season and fewer write-offs of bad credit card debt. Sales rose 2.8 per cent to $20.28bn (£12.6bn), while sales at its established stores rose 2.4 per cent, outperforming its larger rival Wal-Mart Stores. The US discount chain earned net income of $1.04bn, or $1.45 per share, in the fourth-quarter ended 30 January.