• Q1 loss narrowed to $1.18m
  • Sales climbed 11.0% to $8.4m
  • Gross margin rose to 53.6%

Higher sales and better gross margins at its J Lindeberg and William Rast stores have helped casual apparel maker People's Liberation Inc narrow its first quarter losses.

But the Los Angeles based firm still fell short of a profit after higher revenues and cuts in design and sample costs were unable to offset higher fashion show expenses and increased rent and staffing for the company's new stores.

Net loss for the three months to 31 March was $1.18m or $0.03 per share, compared to a loss of $1.63m or $0.05 per share in the same period last year.

Net revenue rose 11.0% to $8.4m, up from $7.5m a year earlier, helped by higher retail sales and sponsorship revenue from the William Rast brand.

Quarterly gross profit increased to $4.5m, a rise of 33.7% on last year's $3.4m. Gross margin improved to 53.6% from 44.5% last time.