Baby Bunting shares have defied the gloom elsewhere in the retail sector, surging more than 12 per cent after the company lifted the bottom end of its earnings guidance.

The retailer has told shareholders that it expects earnings for the 2019 financial year to be between $25 million and $27 million, compared to the $24 million to $27 million detailed in August’s full-year report.

Comparable sales had grown 9.6 per cent in the financial year to date, while total sales had increased by 17 per cent in relation to the prior comparable 20-week period.

Chairman Ian Cornell told Monday’s annual general meeting that 2018 had been a challenging year, marked by price deflation and strong discounts driven by distressed retailers and store closures.

‘I am pleased by Baby Bunting’s performance in such a tough trading environment and the progress that was made in growing market share and implementing our strategy,’ Mr Cornell said.

The one-stop baby shop plans to open another two stores before Christmas in Chadstone and Bankstown, making 52 stores in total.

At 1510 AEDT, Baby Bunting shares were 23.5 cents, or 11.8 per cent, higher at $2.22.