Cato Q1 profit edges up 4%, raises outlook

Charlotte, N.C. -- Women’s apparel retailer Cato Corp. said Thursday that first-quarter profit rose 4% to $31.7 million, from $30.5 million last year, prompting the company to raise its full-year profit forecast.

Sales inched up 1% to $275.3 million, but same-store sales dipped 2% among its Cato, Cato Fashions, Cato Plus, It's Fashion, It's Fashion Metro and Versona Accessories banners.

“Although the level of sales by month varied due to unexpected circumstances including early warm weather and the delay of tax refunds, first quarter sales overall were within our expectations and reflect the continuing difficult economic environment for our customers,” said John Cato, president and CEO.

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