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SAO PAULO, April 29 (Reuters) - Lojas Renner SA, Brazil's fastest-growing clothing retailer, posted a bigger-than-expected jump in profit on Wednesday as a successful expansion plan helped win market share despite a consumer slowdown.
First-quarter net income rose 44 percent from a year ago to 73 million reais ($25 million), beating an average forecast of 53 million reais in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Lojas Renner's profit rose on the back of solid sales growth, underscoring its privileged position in Brazil's fashion market, as new locations, redesigned stores and appealing collections help skirt a wider downturn.
Revenue climbed about 25 percent from a year ago, with sales rising nearly 17 percent at stores open for at least a year.
Chief Financial Officer Laurence Gomes said a popular seasonal collection had helped Renner keep up sales momentum, but he avoided making a forecast for the months ahead.
"We're doing well in April," he said in a phone interview. "We'll have to see."
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, rose 45 percent from a year earlier to 192 million reais, above an average forecast of 147 million reais.
$1 = 2.95 Brazilian reais Writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Richard Chang