• Q1 profit increased 19.9% to $217m
  • Sales climbed 4% to $6.39bn
  • Company reaffirmed 2013 EPS guidance 

US department store retailer Macy's has today (15 May) booked a 19.9% increase in first-quarter profit on solid sales, despite the negative impact of unseasonably cool weather and weakened demand.

Net income reached US$217m for the 13-week period to 4 May, compared to $181m in the same period last year. Sales grew 4% to $6.39bn from $6.14bn last year, while comparable sales were up 3.8%.

"The first quarter demonstrated our ability to continue to build on our success over the past few years in growing sales and earnings. Based on the effectiveness of strategies we have in place, we are confident that momentum will continue going forward, which is reflected in the actions we are announcing today to increase returns to our shareholders through an increased dividend and share repurchases," said chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren.

"We are especially pleased with our first quarter sales and earnings performance given the challenges we overcame in this period. These included sustained, unseasonably cool spring weather in our northern climate zones. In addition, we saw weakness among some of the most budget-conscious consumers, as well as among our higher household income Bloomingdale's customers."

Looking ahead, Macy's continues to expect comparable sales to grow by approximately 3.5% in 2013. It also reaffirmed its fiscal 2013 earnings per share guidance of $3.90 to $3.95.