Gaps comparable store sales were up 1% in January

Gap's comparable store sales were up 1% in January

Speciality clothing retailer Gap Inc has reported a 1% rise in January comparable store sales, helped by growth at two of its three brands.

However, increases in comparable store sales of 1% at Gap and 4% at Old Navy were offset by a 10% drop at Banana Republic.

The San Francisco-based retailer also said net sales fell 20.4% to US$899m during the four weeks to 1 February, compared to $1.13bn in the same period of last year.

For the fourth quarter, net sales were down 3.2% to $4.58bn from $4.73bn in the prior year. Comparable store sales edged up 1%, marking the company's eighth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth. Comparable store sales climbed 1% at Gap, were flat at Old Navy, but fell 3% at Banana Republic.

"We're pleased to deliver a strong finish to the year, with another month and quarter of comp sales growth," said chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy.

Gap expects fourth-quarter earnings per share to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.66, representing full-year earnings per share growth in the mid-to-high teens.