NEW YORK — Strong spring sales coupled with cost controls led multichannel retailer Coldwater Creek to report an increase in its first-quarter income and sales performance.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based firm, which sells women’s apparel and accessories through catalogs, the Internet and 44 stores, said for the three months ended May 3, income strengthened 35.4 percent to a better-than-expected $1.9 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, versus income of $1.4 million, or 9 cents. Net sales in the quarter increased 8.4 percent to $115.2 million from $106.2 million.

“Our focused store assortment gave us a fresh, bright look for spring, and our national magazine advertising and window banners were tightly coordinated to catch the customer’s eye,” Georgia Shonk-Simmons, president and chief merchandising officer, said in a statement.

She noted color and novelty continued to be the big merchandising story for the season, with strong response to solids and prints. In addition, she said the firm saw continued growth in its sportswear, cropped pants and denim businesses in the quarter.

By division, sales in the retail segment, which includes its full-line stores as well as the resort and outlet stores, increased 37.3 percent to $33.3 million from $24.3 million and represented 28.9 percent of total sales, from 22.9 percent. The direct segment, which encompasses the catalog and e-commerce channels, decreased 0.1 percent to $81.9 million from $82 million, and represented 71.1 percent of sales, versus 77.1 percent. Catalog sales rose 0.2 percent to $46 million from $45.9 million, while e-commerce sales decreased 0.5 percent.

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