Saks swings to profit in Q1

New York City Saks reported Tuesday that it swung to a first-quarter profit of $18.8 million, from a loss of $5.12 million in the year-ago period. The luxury retailer cited inventory cuts and fewer promotions as impetus for the improvement.

Sales rose 7% to $667.4 million, from $624.3 million. Analysts expected sales of $656.8 million.

"We remain optimistic about the long-term outlook for our company and for the luxury sector as a whole," said Saks CEO Steve Sadove. "While our first-quarter results exceeded our expectations, we still believe the overall environment remains uncertain, and we are approaching the remainder of 2010 with continued caution. However, our assumptions for the balance of the year reflect a somewhat stronger forecast than we had at the beginning of the year."

Same-store sales rose 6.1%.

Saks has 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores and 55 Off 5th stores.

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