The Men's Wearhouse today said net sales for the first quarter ended 4 May 2002 decreased 0.3 per cent to $303.9 million from $304.7 million, although US and Canadian comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.9 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively.

But George Zimmer, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, said: "We are very pleased with our first quarter results." He added that sales "significantly exceeded" our initial expectations.

Net earnings were $10.5 million, down from $12.7 million last year.

The company says it expects diluted earnings peer share in the range of 19 to 20 cents for the second quarter, 37 to 38 cents for the third quarter and 60 to 61 cents for the fourth quarter, with full year diluted EPS in the range of $1.41 to $1.44.

Men's Wearhouse is one of North America's largest specialty retailers of men's apparel.