Dress shirt maker Phillips-Van Heusen Corp has posted a rise in second quarter net profit to $7.8 million from $6.9m in the year-ago period.

The New York-based company, whose brands include Van Heusen, Bass and Izod, said sales slipped one per cent to $331.2 million and it expects third quarter sales to be up 1-2 per cent but flat for the full-year.

It added first half net income fell to $7m from $7.5 million while net sales fell to $680.6m from $701.3m last year.

Bruce Klatsky, chairman and CEO, said: "Despite the continuing difficult retail environment, we were pleased with our second quarter performance, which exceeded both our prior year results and our previously announced earnings projections.

"Higher gross margins were the key driver to our improved second quarter earnings."