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Cache Net Drops 11.6% in Quarter

NEW YORK — Cache lost some of its earnings momentum in the first quarter as the specialty store retailer reported a double-digit decrease in profits.<br><br>The firm said that for the three months ended March 29, income fell 11.6 percent to $1.6...

NEW YORK — Cache lost some of its earnings momentum in the first quarter as the specialty store retailer reported a double-digit decrease in profits.

The firm said that for the three months ended March 29, income fell 11.6 percent to $1.6 million, or 17 cents a diluted share, versus income of $1.9 million, or 20 cents, in the comparable year-ago period. Sales for the quarter rang in at $47.9 million, a 0.5 percent increase over year-ago sales of $47.6 million, but slipped 3 percent on a same-store basis.

“The quarter was disappointing,” Thomas?Reinckens, president and chief operating officer, said in an interview. He blamed external factors such as the chilly and wet spring weather, the war in Iraq, the late Easter holiday and the economy for the quarterly results.

Still, Reinckens said he is optimistic about the near-term outlook as sales results over the past week have shown improvements.

Brian?Woolf,?chairman and chief executive, said sportswear remained strong, but was offset by weakness in the dress category, mostly due to a poor prom season. He noted that the retailer’s penetration of sportswear will increase in the first half to 65 to 70 percent of overall sales, compared with 60 to 65 percent in the same period last year. Dresses will decrease to 35 from 30 percent.