Off-price retailer TJX Companies Inc has recorded second-quarter net sales of $3.4 billion, a 12 per cent increase from last year, and net income of $118 million.

The Massachusetts-based company, owner of the TJ Maxx and Marshalls chains, announced earnings of $118.2 m, compared with $123.3m, a year earlier.

The company indicated that softened sales trends and higher markdowns were  behind the fall.

Net sales for the first half of the fiscal year totalled $6.8 billion, a 16 per cent increase from last year, with net income of $286m.

President and chief executive officer Edmond English said: "While our second quarter results did not meet the expectations we had set at the beginning of the year, I am pleased that year-to-date earnings per share are in line with our original plan at the half-year mark."