Home products specialty retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. on Thursday said its holiday sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 5.5 percent, and it raised its forecasts for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2001.

The San Francisco, California-based company, which said it was helped by aggressive inventory management and product assortment, now expects to earn $1.13 to $1.16 a share for the fourth quarter and $1.25 to $1.28 a share for the fiscal year.

A consensus of analysts had been expecting earnings per share of $1.09 for the fourth quarter and $1.19 for the full year.

Shares of Williams-Sonoma were up $1, or 2.41 percent, in late morning New York Stock Exchange Trading.

The company, which owns the Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn stores, said total holiday revenues for the nine weeks ended Dec. 30 rose 12.2 percent to $588.8 million.

Williams-Sonoma and other retailers that sell decorative items for the home like Pier 1 Imports Inc. have benefited from people spending more time at home since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Analysts have said that consumers have shifted spending on travel to spending on improving their houses.

The retailer said its expects net revenues for the full fiscal year to range from $2.089 billion to $2.094 billion, with fourth quarter revenues ranging from $780 million to $785 million.

In November, the retailer said it expected full-year revenues ranging from $2.065 billion to $2.08 billion and earnings per share of $1.17 to $1.24.

Same-store sales for the full year are expected to rise in the low single digits on a percentage basis.

Looking ahead, the company said it is easing into a ''conservative growth plan'', citing uncertainty about the economy. With a 52-week year ahead of it, rather than the 53 weeks in 2001, Williams-Sonoma said it assumes a low double-digit percentage increase in revenues and a high-teen percentage increase in diluted earnings per share.