Women's wear retailer AnnTaylor Stores Corporation has reported net income of $31.2m in the second quarter of 2008, compared with net income of $32.2m in the prior year period, weighed down by decreased total and same-store sales.

Net sales in the second quarter were $592.3m compared with net sales of $614.5m in the second quarter of fiscal 2007.

By division, net sales at Ann Taylor were $185.7m, down from net sales of $216.9m in the second quarter of 2007, while Loft net sales were $299.1m from $310.0m in the prior year's quarter.

Same-store sales for the quarter declined 10.8% versus the prior year, with Ann Taylor down 14.3% and Loft down 8.6%, reflecting weak traffic across all divisions, particularly at Ann Taylor, as well as some softness in key in-store metrics, the company said.

During the second quarter Ann Taylor recorded pre-tax restructuring charges totalling $3.1m, reflecting $1.1m in non-cash charges related to the additional write-down of assets associated with planned store closures and $2.0m in cash charges related to planned store closures and other restructuring costs, the company added.

During the quarter, the company opened nine Loft stores and four Ann Taylor Factory stores. Additionally, the company launched its new Loft outlet concept, with the opening of ten stores in the second quarter.

Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 2008 were $1.18m, compared with $1.2m in the first half of last year, leading to net income of $59.4m from $63.7m last year.

Ann Taylor president and chief executive officer Kay Krill said: "We delivered a very respectable second quarter performance, despite the impacts of significant macroeconomic softness and a deteriorating consumer environment, both of which continue to weigh on the retail sector. Our relentless focus on inventory management and expense control, along with our share repurchase program, enabled us to deliver earnings per share that exceeded year-ago.

"Our focus in this difficult environment continues to be on managing the business prudently and investing in strengthening our brands to position the company for success when the economy improves. We are highly focused on evolving and modernising the Ann Taylor brand, maximising the potential of Loft, and growing our factory and internet channels.

"In terms of our outlook for the balance of the year, we expect conditions to remain challenging. To mitigate the anticipated softness in consumer spending, which is likely to continue to pressure our top line, we have planned our business accordingly, concentrating on managing our expenses and inventories. Thus, despite these challenges, we are reiterating our previous guidance of diluted earnings per share for the year to be in the range of $1.80-$1.90."