NEW YORK--Specialty Retailers Inc., a Houston-based chain, reported second-quarter earnings dipped 4.4 percent to $2.2 million because of increased costs.
In the year-ago period, the company earned $2.3 million. The company said earnings for the quarter and six months included onetime incremental costs, fixed costs from opening new stores and increased costs associated with financing accounts receivable.
Most other apparel specialty chains, including The Limited, The Gap and Ann Taylor, have reported disappointing second quarters due to weak sales.
Specialty Retailers said sales for the three months ended July 29 climbed 17 percent to $154.6 million from $132.1 million. Same-store sales were up 0.7 percent.
For the six months, earnings increased 36 percent to $6.8 million from $5 million. Sales increased 14.1 percent to $296.9 million from $260.1 million. Same-store sales were flat.
Although the company's second-quarter same-store sales were flat, James Marcum, chief financial officer, said total sales and earnings exceeded plan for the reported periods.
Sales in the company's six stores along the Mexican border were hurt by the devaluation of the peso, Marcum said.
Specialty Retailers operates 248 stores in the Midwest and South under the names Bealls, Palais Royal, Stage and Fashion Bar. The stores sell apparel and accessories for men, women and children.

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