Retailer Foot Locker posted second quarter profits ahead of expectations, boosted by lower than anticipated markdowns.

The sports footwear specialist saw sales inch up 1.5% to US$1.3bn, while comparable store sales fell 0.5%. Net income was $18m, compared to a loss of $18m in 2007.

For the first half, sales edged up 0.5% to $2.6m, although comparable store sales fell 1.7%. Net income was $21m - or $39m after adjustments - compared to a loss of $1m in 2007.

"While we are encouraged with our financial results for the second quarter and first half of this year, we are being cautious in how we manage the business for the balance of the year, given the uncertain economic environment in which we operate, particularly as it relates to consumer spending," said Foot Locker chairman and CEO Matthew D Serra.

"We currently expect our net income for the full year, excluding adjustments, to be in a range of $0.70 to $0.85 per share."