UPDATE 1-Gap full-year profit forecast below expectations
Feb 28 (Reuters) - Apparel retailer Gap Inc forecast full-year profit largely below analysts' estimates, hurt by a weak Japanese yen.
The company expects a profit of between $2.52 and $2.60 per share for the year. Analysts on average expect the company to earn $2.59 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Separately, the company announced that its board approved a plan to raise the company's annual 2013 dividend by 20 percent to 60 cents per share.
Gap has staged a turnaround after a decade of critics derided its fashions as boring and it lost out to rivals such as Zara parent Inditex SA and homegrown competitors such as Forever21.
The company, which owns the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, posted net income of $351 million, or 73 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 2, compared with $218 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Gap, the third biggest clothes retailer in the world, said sales for the quarter rose 10.5 percent to $4.73 billion, while same-stores rose 5 percent.
During the quarter, sales at established North American stores rose 4 percent for its namesake brand and 3 percent for Banana Republic brand. Sales at Old Navy stores rose 8 percent, the company said.
Shares of the company, which have risen more than 40 percent in one year, closed at $32.92 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.