Regional department store chain Gottschalks boosted net income in the second quarter of the year but said net loss widened in the year so far.

Quarterly net income was US$486,000 compared to $259,000 a year ago, while total sales rose 1.2% and same-store sales grew 1.1%.

Year-to-date net loss was $3.5m compared to $1.7m previously. Total sales increased slightly and same-store sales were flat.

President and CEO Jim Famalette said: "Our sales performance for the second quarter was not as strong as we had expected. While our soft line businesses had a solid gain of nearly 3%, it was partially offset by a weak quarter for hard lines."

"Based on our performance in the first half of fiscal 2006, and current business trends, we expect same store sales for the year to be up approximately 1% and net income to be in the range of our previous guidance of $5.2m to $5.6m, including the special items in the second quarter and stock based compensation expense as well as taking into consideration the initiatives we are implementing to improve the home division performance."