Charlotte Russe saw net sales rise 13.9% during the company's first quarter, but the retailer remains cautious about the prospects during 2008.

Sales hit US$238.2m in the three months ended 29 December, with comparable store sales edging up 1.5%.

Diluted EPS was $0.56, compared to $0.55 the year before, while operating income was up 1.6% to $22.1m, and net income up 0.7% to $14m.

"We are pleased with the start of fiscal 2008 despite the challenging retail environment," said CEO Mark Hoffman. "However, we remain cautious given the overall macroeconomic climate.

"We continue to focus on delivering trend-right product at great value to our targeted customer. At the same time, we are committed to driving productivity improvements in our business, and we are actively pursuing opportunities in a number of areas."

Hoffman added that the company was well-positioned in terms of inventory, but would continue to show discipline in this area throughout the rest of the fiscal year.

Charlotte Russe expects comparable store sales in the low single digits for the second quarter, with diluted EPS static or declining slightly at $0.12-0.15.