NEW YORK — Digesting smaller second-quarter losses, Barneys New York Inc. managed a slight profit for the first half and said store adjustments, expense control and inventory management will help results for the rest of the year.

Net losses for the three months ended Aug. 3 narrowed to $439,000 or 3 cents a share, from $3.9 million, or 28 cents, a year ago.

Sales dipped 4.2 percent to $81.6 million from $85.1 million during last year’s second quarter.

"Reduced markdowns, improvements in shortage and leveraging of our overhead costs continue to reflect the company’s focus on controlling both its inventory and its expenses," said chairman, president and chief executive Howard Socol in a statement.

Leading into the autumn season, he said, inventories were "slightly below the prior year." Selling, general and administrative expenses, including occupancy costs, for the quarter inched up 60 basis points to 43.7 percent of sales.

Gross profit margins, however, improved 360 basis points to 49.2 percent of sales.

"The bright spots in the season were women’s Co-op, developing designer ready-to-wear, jewelry and cosmetics," Socol said. "While sales of men’s clothing remained soft, both men’s shirts and accessories were solid performers."

For the half, the retailer saw profits of $39,000, which translated to a break even performance on a per-share basis. This compared with year-ago losses of $7.2 million, or 52 cents.

Sales for the six months receded 2.9 percent to $174.1 million from $179.2 million a year ago.

The retailer has almost completed space reconfigurations at its Madison Avenue flagship, which increase offerings of fragrances, cosmetics, women’s accessories, shoes, lingerie, fine jewelry and men’s sportswear.

"These factors, combined with ongoing tight inventory management and expense controls, and an expanded marketing program, should enable us to maximize our operating performance in the balance of the year," Socol said.

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