Destination Maternity has booked a drop in first-quarter sales and adjusted its full-year earnings guidance to the lower end of its previous forecast.

The US maternity retailer saw sales slip to US$134.8m in the three months to the end of December, coming in at the lower end of its guidance range. This was a 0.3% drop on $135.3m reported in the prior year period.

The company blamed a comparable sales increase of 0.7%, which was also below the lower end of its guidance for an increase of between 1% to 4%. Nonetheless, it was the firm's sixth consecutive quarter of comparable sales increases, it added.

"In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, our sales were slightly weaker than planned, reflecting the continued challenging overall economic environment which affected many retailers in the recent holiday shopping season," said CEO Ed Krell.

Sales were also affected by the company's continued efforts to close underperforming stores, it added.

Destination Maternity expects its first quarter fiscal 2014 earnings to be in the lower half of its prior earnings guidance range and to be "somewhat higher" than last year's first quarter earnings, which were up 70% to $3.8m.