Value-priced footwear retailer Shoe Carnival Inc on Thursday posted a 10 per cent slide in first quarter net profit to $5.1 million from $5.7m in the same period of last year.

The operator of 220 stores said net sales for the 13 weeks ended May 3 rose 5.8 per cent to $136.9m from $129.4m but same-store sales fell 5.5 per cent.

President and CEO, Mark Lemond, said: "We believe that the combination of a continued weak economy, the conflict in Iraq and abnormal weather patterns during the spring selling season resulted in lower customer traffic.

"Our business strategy over the past five quarters has focused on strict cost controls and reduced inventory levels. While sales and earnings fell short of our original expectations for the first quarter, we effectively managed our inventories and ended the quarter with inventories down 1.2 per cent on a per-store basis."