US-based footwear retailer Shoe Carnival has reported that its net sales for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21) rose by $353.6m to $1.33bn, representing a 36.2% increase from a year earlier.

The increase in net sales is a record annual growth in the company’s history.

Shoe Carnival’s comparable store sales for the 12 months to 29 January grew by 35.3%, compared with a 5.3% decline in FY20 due to Covid-19.

The company also presented a record 868.6% growth in net income for the year, reaching $154.9m from $16.0m in the prior year.

Shoe Carnival’s earnings per share (EPS) were $5.42, up from $0.56 in 2020, while its gross profit margin was 39.6% against 28.7% two years prior.

During the fourth quarter (Q4), the company’s net sales grew by 23.4% to $313.4m, while its comparable store sales were up by 17.7%, driven by an 18% increment in comparable-store traffic.

Shoe Carnival also shared a record net income growth of $20.6m in Q4 compared with $7.4m in the same period of the prior year.

The firm’s EPS for the quarter also increased from $0.26 to $0.72 year-on-two-years.

Shoe Carnival president and CEO Mark Worden said: “Our outstanding team members delivered double-digit sales growth and triple-digit EPS growth during every quarter of 2021, resulting in the best year in Shoe Carnival’s 43-year history.”

For FY22, Shoe Carnival expects its net sales to grow by between 4% and 7% compared with the prior year.

The company’s operating income for FY22 is forecast to be in the range of $142m to $154m.

It also plans to open more than ten stores over the course of the year.

Worden added: “Our strategic investments, and recent acquisition of a second retail banner, have us positioned very well for continued sales growth in 2022, and for rapid store expansion in the years ahead.”