The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the York department-store chain, today doubled it quarterly dividend to 5 cents per share. The new dividend is payable May 1 to shareholders on April 16.

"Our liquidity and strong balance sheet allow us to provide another avenue of return to our shareholders," Keith Plowman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said.

The company posted a profit of $46.9 million in the fiscal year that ended in January, an 80 percent increase from the year before.

Bon-Ton operates 278 department stores in 23 states in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains. Its shares were up 91 cents to $56.39 in mid-morning Nasdaq trading.