Sportswear and athletic goods retailer The Finish Line is taking action to reduce inventories after comparable store sales fell by more than 7% during the first quarter.

Net income for the period ending 27 May was down from US$12.7m last year to $4.4m, while consolidated net sales were down 1% to $289m. Comparable store sales fell 7.2%.

The company's merchandise inventories stood at $298.4m on 27 May, compared to $259.8m 12 months earlier, 6% up on a square foot basis.

The Finish Line CEO Alan H Cohen said: "Our ending inventory for the quarter was slightly higher than plan and we are taking necessary actions to get back to more appropriate levels by the end of the third quarter."

Cohen added that earnings per share were within the guidance given a month ago, and pointed to a strong balance sheet, with over $60m in cash and marketable securities, and no interest-bearing debt.