Men's apparel retailer JoS. A. Bank Clothiers net income fell from US$6.7m to $5.9m during the first quarter of 2006, with core merchandise sales slumping.

Total sales for the quarter increased 17.7% to $113.7m and comparable store sales rose by 4.7%, with combined catalogue and Internet sales climbing 25.0% compared to the prior year period.

"While our sales of new transitional spring products remained consistent with last year, gross profits declined primarily as a result of increased customer demand for fall merchandise, resulting in less demand for the year-round core merchandise," stated David E. Ullman, CFO of JoS A Bank.

"Our new spring products continue to show strong sales in May and early June, so we expect our year-over-year profits to increase at least 10% in the second quarter of fiscal 2006."

The company forecasts a double-digit percentage increase in earnings per share for the full year, as compared with the earnings per share of $1.95 in fiscal 2005.