• Q3 profit edged up 1.6% to $12.3m
  • Sales increased 9.4% to $118.5m
  • Gross margin down 150 basis points to 63.3%

Luxury jeanswear brand True Religion Apparel has lifted its full-year sales outlook as it posted a 1.6% rise in third-quarter net profit.

Net income reached US$12.3m during the quarter ended 30 September, compared to $12.1m the prior year.

Net sales increased 9.4% to $118.5m. Gross margin declined 150 basis points to 63.3% as it discounted slow-moving merchandise.

Sales at the retailer's US consumer direct business increased 5.7% to $65.3m, while its wholesale segment saw sales jump 35.4% to $29.8m.

However, sales declined 3% at its international division to $22.7m because of a slowdown in wholesale sales in Korea and Germany.

Chairman, CEO and chief merchant Jeffrey Lubell said: "We are pleased with the results we achieved in the third quarter and we continue to see the benefit of sales growth in the US wholesale segment and our continued retail expansion in the US and international markets.

"While our same-store sales fell short of our expectations, we were able to exit the quarter with less slow-moving merchandise. This puts us in a strong position heading into the holiday season."

The company now expects full-year net sales to be in the range of $458m to $463m, compared to earlier guidance of $450 to $455m. The retailer said most of the 35 stores it had to close last week because of Hurricane Sandy have now reopened.

Last month, True Religion said it was considering a possible sale of the company along with other strategic alternatives after it received interest from third parties.