Mall-based retailer Zumiez beat its own expectations with second quarter income of US$2.7m, down from $3.1m for the same period last year.

Sales at the US company for the three months to 2 August were up 12.5% to $92.3m, but comparable store sales edged down 1.7%.

For the first half, Zumiez registered a 13.4% sales increase to $171m, with comparable store sales down 1.3%. Net income was $4.1m, down from $4.7m in 2007.

Zumiez president and CEO Rick Brooks hailed the "positive strides" made by the company, while controlling costs and managing inventories in a "difficult" trading environment.

"We have opened 39 stores this year and continue to make the investments necessary to build the Zumiez chain to our goal of 800 stores," he said. "That said, the macro environment remains challenging and retailers are becoming increasingly promotional.

"Therefore, we believe it is prudent to adopt a more conservative outlook for the back half of the year."

Zumiez is now forecasting earnings per share of $0.80-0.82 for fiscal 2008, down from its previous prediction of $0.90-0.93, based on a mid to low single-digit comparable store sales decline.