• Earnings drop to US$19.8m
  • Gross margin narrows to 34.4%
  • Sales grow 18.4%

US fashion footwear and accessories specialist Steve Madden has reaffirmed its full-year outlook despite recording a decline in first-quarter earnings and a narrowing of gross margin.

Earnings in the three months to the end of March amounted to US19.8m, from $23.6m a year earlier. The 2014 figure included a $3m loss related to the partial impairment of its Wild Pair trademark.

Gross margin narrowed to 34.4% as compared to 35.6% in the same period last year, while total sales were up 6.3% to $323.9m.

Retail net sales in the quarter were up 18.4% to $46.9m, while same store sales increased 11.6%. Retail gross margin, however, decreased to 55.1% from 55.7% due to increased promotional activity in the company's outlet stores.

CEO Edward Rosenfeld said the company was "pleased" with the results, with both sales and earnings meeting plan.

He added: "While sales in our wholesale footwear business excluding acquisitions were down, as expected, in the first quarter, we saw a meaningful improvement in sell-through at our retail partners compared to the prior year. Overall, we are pleased with the underlying trends we are seeing in our business and remain on track to meet our sales and earnings targets for 2015."

For fiscal year 2015, the company continues to expect net sales to increase 7% to 9%. Diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $1.85 to $1.95.