• Q1 profit rose 8% to $453m
  • Sales up 7% to $6.2bn
  • Gross margin grew 0.2% percentage points to 28.4%

Off-price retailer The TJX Companies expects full-year earnings per share to be at the upper end of its previous guidance after first-quarter profit rose 8%.

The company, which owns the TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods brands, said net income reached US$453m for the 13 weeks to 4 May, compared to $419.2m in the same period last year.

Sales grew 7% to $6.2bn from $5.80bn in the prior year, while comparable store sales were up 2% on top of an 8% increase last year.

Gross margin improved 0.2% percentage points to 28.4%, driven by strong merchandise margins.

CEO Carol Meyrowitz said: "We believe the flexibility of our business model allowed us to achieve this growth despite the unfavourable weather patterns across most of our regions for much of the quarter. Flowing the right merchandise at the right time continued to be key to strong merchandise margins.

"The second quarter is off to a strong start and we are in an excellent position to buy into the enormous opportunities for quality merchandise that we are seeing in the marketplace," she added.

Looking forward, TJX expects second-quarter earnings per share to range from $0.61 to $0.63 and comparable store sales to rise 2-3%. For the full-year TJX has narrowed its expected range for earnings per share to $2.70 to $2.78 from its previous guidance of $2.66-$2.78.