Apparel and home products marketer Blair Corporation has posted a slight increase in first-quarter profitability despite seeing lower sales after focusing on its core customer base, lowering overall operating costs and reducing unprofitable sales.

Net income for the first quarter totalled $650,000 compared to $571,000 last year, while first-quarter sales totalled $107.6 million compared to $128.6m in the year-ago quarter.

The $21m reduction in net sales for the first quarter of 2005 was driven by a decrease of approximately $7m resulting from the shutdown of the Crossing Pointe catalogue that was completed in March 2005.

Headquartered in Warren, Pennsylvania, Blair Corporation sells a range of women's and men's apparel and home products through direct mail marketing and its websites.