US shoe group Phoenix Footwear has reported net earnings of US$440,000 for the first quarter of the year, compared to a net loss of $3.0m in the prior year period, having cut costs by a third.

Net sales were $5.9m during the period, which included increases of 20% and 4% for its Trotters and SoftWalk brands respectively.

Russell Hall, president and CEO, said: "We are pleased to report strong sales growth in both of our core brands. Trotters and SoftWalk have experienced increases and solid sell-through in most all of our channels of distribution.

"Our plans for HS Trask are very modest for the year so the sales decrease in this brand was not unplanned. During the quarter we also continued to line up new customers, opening up 57 new or former accounts, including reestablishing our brands with key influential retailers such as Orva in Manhattan and Littles of Pittsburgh, Pa, who have had past success with our core brands."

Selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A, totaled $2.7m during the first quarter, a decrease of 29% compared to $3.8m in the first quarter of 2009.