Federated Department Stores posted a US$52m first-quarter loss, caused by expenses from buying May Department Stores.

Net loss totalled $52m in the first quarter, while sales grew 62% to $5.93bn from $3.64bn a year ago. Same-store sales were flat, beating expectations of a 0.5% to 1.5% decrease.

Chairman, president and CEO Terry J Lundgren said: "Considering this was the initial quarter of physically bringing together the Federated and May Company organisations, we were very pleased with first quarter results that were ahead of our expectations.

"Performance was driven by stronger-than-expected same-store sales at Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, as well as expense levels that were below plan. Our first quarter indicates that the integration of Federated and May Company continues solidly on track. We remained very focused and disciplined in running the business through this period."

Federated bought May last year in a $11bn deal, creating the US' biggest department store group.