US women's wear retailer Cache Inc has reported first quarter net loss of US$1.6m, as compared to a net loss of $2.1m in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, benefiting without the store closure and management change costs that had hit the prior year period.

First quarter fiscal 2008 results included $1.8m in costs, net of taxes, for store closures and the management change in January 2008.

For the 13-week period ended 28 March, net sales decreased 21.7% to $53.0m from $67.7m in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Same-store sales decreased 20.7%, as compared to an increase of 3.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2008;

Thomas Reinckens, chairman and CEO, said: "Our first quarter results were at the better end of our expectations, reflecting the success of our strategies aimed at reducing costs and preserving cash flow. To this point, cash and marketable securities totalled $30.5m and inventories were 20% below the prior year at quarter end.

"We also achieved $4.7 million in savings during the quarter and now expect to deliver $18m in total cost reductions this year, up $3m from our year-end goal. While the weak consumer spending environment and the shift in the Easter holiday negatively impacted our first quarter performance, there were several positive categories in our business."

The company continues to expect net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 in the range of $57.0m to $59.0m, which compares to actual second quarter fiscal 2008 net sales of $74.0m.

Earnings per diluted share for the second quarter continue to be estimated in the range of $0.04 to $0.07, which compares to actual second quarter fiscal 2008 earnings per diluted share of $0.16.

During the first quarter, the company opened two new stores, closed four locations and operated 294 stores, at quarter end.