Speciality apparel chain New York & Company saw net income fall by more than 70% for the first quarter of fiscal 2006, with comparable store sales down by 9.2%.

Net sales for the period ending April 29 were down 1.1% to US$267.1m, but net income fell from $21.5m last year to $6.1m. Gross profit was $79.1m, compared to $98.3m last year, while operating income stood at $10.6m, down from $37.4m.

Chairman and CEO Richard P Crystal admitted that the results were "well below our original expectations", with April sales rebounding slightly from double-digit comparable store sales declines in February and March.

He added: "As we look ahead, we believe our assortments are better balanced, with a mix of new fashion and core basics that we believe will resonate better with our customers.

"That being said, we expect comparable store sales for the second quarter to be low single-digit negative against prior year."

The company is predicting Q2 net sales to be up 6-8%, which equates to a comparable store sales fall of 1-3%. It has also revised its full-year sales estimates down from a range of $1.237bn-1.253bn to a range of $1.203bn-1.222bn.