• Q1 earnings drop to $14.1m
  • Sales fall 2.3%
  • Comparable sales up 2.6%

Off-price fashion retailer Stein Mart saw earnings tumble in its first-quarter as investments in new stores and e-commerce, and the timing of its annual advertising spend, hit profits.

In the three months ended 3 May, net income dropped to US$14.1m from $14.7m a year earlier. Adjusted to take account of investment costs, earnings edged up 0.7% to $14.7m.

Total sales for the quarter dropped 2.3% to $328.9m, while comparable store sales were up 2.6%.

CEO Jay Stein, said: "We are pleased with our operating performance thus far this year, which included a solid comp sales increase for the quarter once the weather improved. Our planned growth investments in new stores and e-commerce, as well as the timing of our annual advertising spend, caused our earnings to be below last year.

"We continue to be excited about our growth opportunities as we open more stores and continue to produce solid same store sales results."