US apparel and footwear group Deckers Brands has offered an optimistic outlook despite booking a drop in sales in its first-quarter and a widening of its net loss. 

For the three months ended 30 June, losses increased to US$58.9m from a loss of $47.3m a year earlier. Gross margin widened to 43.7% from 40.5% in the year ago period. 

Net sales, however, were down 18.4% to $174.4m as a result of the timing of order shipments between quarters, a drop in direct-to-consumer comparable sales, and fewer close-out sales. On a constant currency basis, net sales fell 18.8%.

Domestic sales for the quarter dropped 18.6% to $109.5m, while international sales fell 18.2% to $64.9m. 

"We are encouraged by our start to fiscal 2017, and we remain on track to deliver the sales and profitability targets we established for the year," said CEO Dave Powers. "Looking ahead, I am confident that our product line-up and marketing plans for this fall and holiday will help drive sales during our key selling season. I am excited about the progress we are making in this transitional year, and believe we are positioning the company to capitalise on the opportunities in front of us."

Looking to the full year, Deckers reaffirmed its guidance of sales in the range of -3% to flat, while gross margin is expected in the range of 47% to 47.5%. The company expects diluted earnings per share of $4.05 to $4.40.