• Q2 earnings down to US$6.9m
  • Gross margin declines 280 bps
  • Sales fall 2%

US apparel retailer Express Inc has booked a drop in second-quarter earnings and sales but said the opportunity remains to drive improvements in both in the second half.

Net income in the three months ended 2 August amounted to US$6.9m, compared to earnings of $16.9m in the year ago period. This came in at the high end of the group's guidance.

Gross margin declined 280 basis points compared to last year's second quarter and represented 28.3% of net sales.

Revenues were down 2% to $481.4m from $490.1m a year earlier, while comparable sales dropped 5%. E-commerce sales, however, were up 3% to $61.8m.

CEO Michael Weiss, said: "In light of the difficult environment, we feel very good about the progress made during the second quarter and delivering earnings that exceeded the high end of our guidance.

"Looking ahead to the back half of the year, the opportunity remains to drive further sequential improvements in both sales and profits, while simultaneously continuing our disciplined approach to inventory units and input costs."