• Q1 profit edges up 2.1% to $23.6m 
  • Net sales rises 9.2% to $304.6m 
  • Gross margin slips to 35.6%

Footwear and accessories specialist Steve Madden recorded an increase in first-quarter sales, thanks to an "outstanding" performance from its wholesale business.

Net income reached US$23.6m during the three months to 31 March, compared to $23.4m in the same period last year.

Sales increased 9.2% to $304.6m from $278.9m in the prior year. Wholesale revenues grew 13.3% to $265, while retail sales declined 12.1% to $39.6m.

Gross margin slipped to 35.6% against 36.8% the year before, primarily due to increased promotional activity in the retail segment.

Chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld said: "We were pleased to deliver solid overall financial results in the first quarter in a difficult environment. While a lack of fashion footwear trends and the soft overall retail climate continued to challenge our retail segment, our wholesale business was outstanding."

He added: "Looking ahead, we remain on track to meet our sales and earnings targets for the year."