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Gap's quarterly profit rises 2.8 pct

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Apparel chain Gap Inc reported a 2.8 percent rise in profit for the all-important holiday quarter, helped by higher demand for its Gap and Old Navy brands.

The company's net income rose to $220 million, or 55 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 from $214 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 51 cents per share.

Net sales rose 1 percent to $4.43 billion, the first sales increase after seven straight quarterly declines.

(Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)