Advance Auto Parts has reported that improved fourth-quarter results were supported by improved same-store sales. Fourth-quarter profits rose 23%, although company shares dipped as January sales softened. The Roanoke, Va.-based chain of auto parts stores posted fourth-quarter earnings of $39.4 million, or 36 cents a share, up from $32.1 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier, and in line with the Thomson First Call estimates. Revenue rose to $963.7 million from last year’s $848.8 million, topping analyst forecasts of $940 million, amid same-store sales growth of 6.3%. All figures in U.S. dollars. More recent figures have not kept pace, however. The company reports that the first six weeks of this year revealed a softening of its results, with comparable stores sales running in the low single digits as opposed to being up 14% at this time last year, though it expects to see figures rise to the high single digits for the remaining 10 weeks of the quarter, which would be on a par with the 2005 increase of 7%.