• Q1 net income slipped 1% to $47.5m
  • Sales rose 8% to $768.3m
  • Comparable-store sales were up 4%

Ascena Retail Group has recorded a 1% drop in first quarter profit as one-off costs offset higher sales during the period.

The retailer, which operates the Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice brands, said net income slipped to $47.5m in the three months to 29 October, down from $48m in the same period last year.

Net sales, however, rose 8% to $768.3m, thanks to higher same-store sales, new store growth at Justice and Maurices, and strong e-commerce sales. Comparable-store sales were up 4%.

"While the retail environment remained challenging, our consumers reacted favourably to compelling assortments at each of our brands and to a targeted marketing and promotional strategy that communicated our value proposition very effectively, which kept our inventory at proper levels," said president and CEO David Jaffe.

"As we move into our second quarter, we remain comfortable that we will achieve our plan for the year. We also remain excited by a wide range of opportunities to drive growth in our business, value to our consumers, and returns to our shareholders."