• Q1 earnings tumbled 63% to $3.7m
  • Net sales up 4.5% to $624.6m
  • Gross profit margin fell to 40.0% from 41.4%

Retailer Brown Shoe Company Inc has described its first quarter as "mixed" after tough year-on-year comparisons and a shift in its retail and wholesale revenues.

"Despite tough year-over-year comparisons, we were able to grow our gross profit margin at Famous Footwear and experienced revenue growth in our wholesale operations," said CEO Diane Sullivan.

"I continue to feel good about our overall strategy, and the entire company is looking forward to heading into the back-to-school selling season."

Sales in the quarter were helped by the acquisition of American Sporting Goods (ASG) in February which, along with higher wholesale revenues, helped offset a decline in Famous Footwear sales.

"For 2011, we are maintaining our previous annual guidance, however, based on our first quarter results, we are currently expecting this to trend toward the lower end," said Mark Hood, chief financial officer for Brown Shoe.