The Forzani Group Ltd., Canada's largest sporting goods chain, reported retail system sales for the 10-week period ended Jan. 9 rose 6.5% as the cold weather boosted holiday  sales. Total retail system sales – retail sales from both corporate and franchise stores — rose 7 percent for the holiday season on a same-store basis versus a 2.7% decline in the year-ago period.

Total retail system sales grew 6.5% (from the prior year decline of 1.8%).

Corporate same-store sales increased 9.4% (prior year decline of 3.6%), while franchise retail same-store sales were up 2.7% (prior year decline of 1.1%).

“We had a good start to the quarter, as reported in our December 9th press release, due to a very strong month of November, as the cold weather effectively kick started the Christmas selling season”, reported Bob Sartor, CEO. “While sales momentum moderated somewhat in mid-December, we finished with strong sales gains, both in the final week leading up to Christmas, and through to our Boxing Week events. January sales continue to perform to plan.”

The company expects to disclose its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Jan. 30, 2011 on April 5, 2011.

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