Shoe maker Steven Madden has posted a 27.6% drop in second quarter profit to US$7.6m , down from $10.5m in the prior year period.

Sales for the quarter ended 30 June were up by just $1m to $109.3m, from $108.3m in the second quarter of 2007.

Gross margin was almost flat at 41.7% compared to 42.0% last time, with a margin decline in the company's retail division partially offset by a margin increase in its wholesale unit.

Revenues from the company's wholesale business were $79.4m, a slight rise on last year's $78.6m.

This was due primarily to the strength of the Madden Girl and Daniel M Friedman divisions, which offset relative softness in its Steve Madden Women's and Steve Madden Men's divisions during the quarter, the company said.

Sales from new stores kept retail revenues flat at $29.9m, but same-store sales decreased 3.3%.

Steven Madden said that for the first six months of the year, profit fell 51.7% to $9.7m from $20.1m, with net sales dropping 2.3% to $209.9m.

Edward Rosenfeld, interim chief executive officer, said: "In wholesale, Madden Girl and Daniel M Friedman were bright spots as we generated strong sales increases in these two divisions in the second quarter."

The company continues to expect 2008 net sales will be flat to an increase of 2% compared to fiscal 2007.