US retail corporation Target has reported net earnings of $971m in the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year (FY) 2023.

This is an increase of 36.3% from $712m in the same period of FY22.

During the quarter ending 28 October 2023, the retailer’s diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 36.3% to $2.10.

Target delivered total sales of $25.00bn in Q3 FY23, down 4.3% from $26.12bn a year ago.

The retailer’s comparable sales dropped 4.9% over the quarter, driven by comparable store and digital sales declines of 4.6% and 6.0%, respectively.

Its total revenue was down by 4.2% to $25.4bn in Q3 FY23.

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The company’s operating income for the quarter was $1.31bn, up 28.9% from $1.02bn in the prior FY.

Target Corporation chair and chief executive Brian Cornell said: “In the third quarter, our team continued to successfully navigate our business through a very challenging external environment. While third-quarter sales were consistent with our expectations, earnings per share came in far ahead of our forecast.

“This profit performance benefited from our team’s commitment to efficiency and disciplined inventory management, and I’d like to thank them for their tireless efforts. Looking ahead, we’re continuing to make investments throughout our business — in our assortment, our team and the services we offer – to provide the newness, affordability and convenience our guests want during the holiday season and beyond.”

In the fourth quarter, the retailer expects comparable sales to be ‘in a wide range around a mid-single-digit decline’.

It expects generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and adjusted EPS from $1.90 to $2.60.

Based in Minneapolis, US, Target operates from nearly 2,000 stores and at