• Net profit reached US$36.5m, up 17.7% from $31m
  • Sales slipped 0.5% to $1.48bn from $1.49bn 
  • Comparable store sales edged up 1%

Department store retailer Dillard's has reported a 17.7% increase in second quarter profit, thanks to improved margins and higher comparable store sales.

The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company said sales trends were notably strong in ladies' accessories and lingerie followed by juniors' and children's apparel, while ladies' apparel was among the weakest.

Chief executive officer William Dillard said: "Following a strong start to the year, we made further progress in the second quarter. Positive comparable store sales and gross margin expansion combined with continued expense control enabled us to report another quarter of year-over-year improvement at Dillard's."

During the first half, net profit increased 22% to $153.7m from $126m in the same period last year. Sales, meanwhile, reached $3.03bn, down 0.3% from $3.04bn in the previous year.