Clothing retailer Chico's FAS Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as revived holiday sales thanks to improved merchandise boosted results.

The operator of the Chico's, White House Black Market and SOMA Intimates chains said its net income was $17.5 million, or 10 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $40.5 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 5 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose about 17 percent to $435.7 million.