Steven Senne, File, Associated Press
In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. Target Corp. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

NEW YORK — Target is reporting a 52 percent increase in its first-quarter profit on solid sales of fashion and baby items, offering evidence that its efforts to spruce up its merchandise are paying off.

The retailer, based in Minneapolis, also boosted the top end of its annual profit outlook.

Target says it earned $635 million, or 98 cents per share, in the quarter ended May 2. That compares with $418 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose nearly 3 percent to $17.1 billion. Revenue at store open at least year a year rose 2.3 percent, marking the third consecutive quarter of gains.

Target is aiming to reinvent itself as a more nimble company and trying to reclaim its reputation as a purveyor of cheap chic.