Footwear and casual clothing designer and marketer Vans Inc on Thursday posted a sharp fall in first quarter net profit amid sliding same-store sales and a poor performance by its skateparks.

The California-based company said net income slumped to $5.4 million from $11.3m in the year-ago period and although sales rose 5.5 per cent to $124.6m from $118.1m, same-store sales fell 4.9 per cent.

Total US sales rose 5.5 per cent to $91.6m while sales through its US retail stores increased 7.1 per cent to $36m. Total international sales jumped 5.8 per cent to $33.1m. Inventories were cut by a quarter to $43.1m.

Vans said for the second quarter it expects sales of $60m to $65m and earnings per share loss of around 20 cents and for the second half sales of $145m to $155m and earnings per share ranging between a 10 cents loss to a 10 cents gain.

President and CEO, Gary Schoenfeld, commented: "While we still have much work ahead, we were encouraged by the improving trends we experienced during back to school.

"Following six years of rapid growth, events over the past twelve months have necessitated that we make some significant organisational and operational changes in order to further expand our share of the market.

"Historically our strengthening trends during back to school would be a positive barometer for the balance of the year. Yet the combination of September comp sales running unexpectedly behind last year, further weakness in our skateparks and increasing concern about the overall footwear and retail climate leads us to a more conservative view for our business near term."