Federated Department Stores, which owns the Macy's and Bloomingdale's store chains, has posted a better-than-expected first-quarter performance on a continued focus on growing sales from its current businesses.

First-quarter net income rose 27 per cent to $123 million from net income of $97m in the same period last year, while sales during the quarter grew 2.5 per cent to $3.6 billion from sales of $3.5bn a year ago. Same-store sales rose 2.6 per cent in the quarter.

Terry Lundgren, Federated's chairman, president and chief executive officer said the good performance shows that focusing on sales is the right strategy for the company.

He added: "our four key priorities - differentiated assortments, simplified pricing, an improved shopping experience and more effective marketing - are the right approach to making us a more attractive retailer".

Federated is one of the US's leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $15.6bn. The company is currently in the process of completing its acquisition of department store group May Co.