Retailer Nordstrom has downgraded its full-year earnings forecast after first quarter profit fell 24.2% to US$119m.

The decline for the period ended 3 May nonetheless yielded earnings per share of $0.54, at the upper end of expectations.

However, sales fell 3.8% to $1.88bn, equating to a same store sales decline of 6.5%, below the company's planned 3-5% fall.

Nordstrom said the company's focus on expense management and inventory control had helped earnings, while designer products, women's activewear and women's intimate apparel had achieved above average sales.

Margins shrank as the retailer used markdowns to align inventory with sales trends.

The company is now forecasting full-year earnings per share of $2.65-2.80, down on the previous estimate of $2.75-2.90 and based on a same store sales decline of 4-6%.

For the second quarter, Nordstrom expects EPS of $0.65-0.70, based on a same store sales decline of 5-7%.