• Net earnings declined 13.6% to US$9.5m from $11m 
  • Sales increased 4.3% to $232.3m from $222.6m
  • Comparable store sales down 0.8%
  • Gross margin slipped to 29.5% from 30.8% 

US footwear and accessories retailer Shoe Carnival has seen its first-quarter net profit decline 13.6% after wetter weather dampened sales growth.

President and CEO Cliff Sifford said: "Our first quarter was challenging, as we experienced colder, wetter weather through March than the same time period a year ago.

"However, our sales trend improved significantly in April with the arrival of warm weather, which helped us mitigate our comparable store sales decline for the quarter to less than one percent and better than we anticipated. As a result, we concluded the quarter with earnings above our expectations.

"We are pleased to report that the positive sales trend experienced later in the first quarter of 2013 continues today across all departments.

"We remain optimistic with the continued positive performance of our athletic categories on top of a strong performance in 2012, which gives us confidence as we prepare for the very important back-to-school season.

Looking ahead, Shoe Carnival expects second-quarter earnings per share to be $0.26-0.30, up on $0.14 last year. Comparable store sales are forecast to increased 3-5% against 3% growth last year.