Footwear retailer Genesco Inc said first-quarter results "significantly exceeded plan", driven by better-than-expected performances at Journeys, Hat World, Underground Station and Johnston & Murphy.

First-quarter earnings before discontinued operations totalled $8.2 million compared to $5.8m last year, while net sales rose 27 per cent from $226m to $286m.

Genesco chairman, president and chief executive officer Hal Pennington said: "Sales, margins, and cash flow were strong, and we ended the quarter with a good inventory position."

Journeys' same store sales increased 7 per cent, footwear unit comparable sales rose 11 per cent, and gross margins came in above plan.

Hat World net sales increased to $62m while and same store sales increased 7 per cent, against a 23 per cent gain last year.

Total sales for the Underground Station Group were up 13 per cent to approximately $40mduring the quarter, same-store sales rose 9 per cent and operating margin increased 120 basis points to 5.8 per cent. Same-store sales for the Underground Station stores increased 11 per cent, driven by continued increases in average selling prices and a 6 per cent gain in footwear unit same-store sales.

Johnston & Murphy net sales grew to roughly $42m, same-store sales rose 3 per cent and wholesale sales increased 9 per cent.

Dockers Footwear sales were impacted by internal and external issues during the quarter.

The company now expects sales for the year to range between $1.27 billion and $1.28bn.

Genesco Inc sells footwear, headwear and accessories in more than 1,600 retail stores in the US and Canada, principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Johnston & Murphy, Underground Station, Hatworld, Lids, Hat Zone, Cap Factory, Head Quarters and Cap Connection.