Payless ShoeSource Inc said its net income rose 17 per cent for the fiscal first quarter, despite what the company said was a slow start to the quarter. The Topeka, Kan, shoe retailer reported net for the period ended May 5 of $29.7m, or $1.30 a diluted share, up from $25.4m, or 89 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. The latest results topped analysts' estimates by a penny, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. Excluding non-recurring items in last year's results, the company's profits declined 12 per cent from $33.9m, or $1.19 a share.