• Q3 sales decrease 4%
  • Net income climbs to $2.9m
  • Gross margin increased 180 basis points

Canadian fashion retailer West 49 has posted improved net income during the third quarter - after margins were improved.

The company reported net sales of CAD$59.4m during the third quarter, compared with $61.7m in the same period of last year.

For the quarter ended 31 October, West 49 said that its net income improved to $2.9m, compared to $2.1m in Q3 last year.

"We improved our margins and profitability despite a highly competitive and increasingly discount-oriented retail landscape," said Sam Baio, chief executive officer of West 49. "We strategically stocked our stores in advance of an earlier and longer Back-to-School selling period.

"We worked closely with our vendors to offer fresh merchandise and offer value for our customers. On the cost side, the continued, solid execution of our business plan translated to improvement in our SG&A expenses as a rate to net sales for the seventh consecutive quarter."

Gross margin for the quarter increased 180 basis points to 27.9% of net sales from 26.1% of net sales for the third quarter of last year.

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $0.6m to $10.7m, or 18.0% of net sales.

"We have strengthened our business significantly over the course of the recent recession and are well positioned for growth as the economy starts to recover and consumer confidence rebounds. Notwithstanding our growth prospects for the future, this Holiday season remains highly uncertain, especially as it relates to girls apparel," added Baio.

Click here to view the company's full third quarter earnings statement.