NEW YORK — Tighter inventory management and improved regular-price selling of late-summer merchandise helped boost Talbot Inc.’s second-quarter results despite an uncustomary sales decline.

For the three months ended Aug. 3, income was up 12.4 percent to $20 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, from $17.8 million, or 28 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The bottom-line picture represents a reversal of the first-quarter drop.

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