Dollar General Corp posted a higher quarterly profit as more shoppers visited the discount chain for gifts and food during the holiday season and said it expected sales and earnings to rise again this fiscal year.

The company, which has more than 9,300 stores in 35 U.S. states, earned $222.5 million, or 64 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on January 28, up from $87.2 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 9.4 percent to $3.49 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 3.8 percent.

Looking ahead, Dollar General expects same-store sales to be up between 3 percent and 5 percent this year, with earnings at $2.20 to $2.30 per share. It plans to open 625 stores.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York and Jessica Hall in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)