Casual shoe firm Phoenix Footwear Group Inc on Tuesday posted a fall in first quarter net income on the back of lower sales and higher costs related to a previously disclosed corporate relocation.

The California-based company, whose brands include Trotters and Softwalk, posted net profit of $375,000 versus $605,000 in the year-ago period with net sales down to $9.2m from $10.8m in 2002.

Phoenix said its results were hit by expenses of $476,000 associated with the previously disclosed corporate relocation and the discontinued Antigua Enterprises acquisition effort.

Chairman and CEO, James Riedman, commented: "While first quarter sales for our Trotters and SoftWalk shoe lines were impacted by the challenging retail environment, we are encouraged by the continued improvement in the profitability of our underlying business.

"Looking to the future, we remain focused on growing the distribution of our footwear brands while pursuing strategic acquisitions that will be accretive to earnings and that will maximise shareholder value.

"We are confident in the long-term outlook of our business and look forward to improving profitability as the year progresses."