• Net income fell to $26.3m from $28.5m
  • Net sales rose 6% to $450.6m from $426.0m
  • Comparable store sales increased 2%

Apparel retailer Express Inc has lifted its full-year guidance, even though it booked a 7.7% drop in third quarter profit after a tax increase offset lower costs and higher sales.

"The quarter included positive comparable store sales, a 57% increase in e-commerce sales, and a 240 basis point increase in gross margin, all contributing to a 26.6% increase in operating income compared to the third quarter last year," said Michael Weiss, president and CEO.

He added: "We expect Express to maintain its fashion leadership this holiday season. We saw a terrific response to our Thanksgiving weekend events and are excited about our opportunities as the holiday season progresses."

The retailer, which operates 582 stores, said it expects to earn $1.31 to $1.37 per share for the year, up from its previous forecast of $1.27 to $1.33 per share.