• Q1 profit declined 2.8% to $30.8m
  • Sales fell 2% to $267.2m
  • Gross margin decreased 80 basis points to 41.3%

Value-priced fashion apparel The Cato Corporation has today (23 May) reported a 2.8% decline in first-quarter profit after cooler temperatures dampened sales.

The company, whose brands include Cato, Versona and It's Fashion, said net income fell to US$30.8m for the quarter ending 4 May, from $31.7m in the same period last year.

Sales slipped 2% to $267.2m from $272.8m a year ago, while same-store sales fell 5% during the quarter.

Gross margin decreased 80 basis points to 41.3% due to lower merchandise sales in the quarter as well as higher occupancy costs related to store growth. 

"Continuing difficult economic conditions, higher payroll taxes, delayed income tax refunds and cooler than normal temperatures in March and April negatively impacted first quarter sales," noted chairman, president and CEO John Cato.