G-III Apparel Group Ltd. said late Monday that it reduced its first-quarter loss but was unable to stage the breakeven performance anticipated by analysts and its own projections.

 

For the three months ended April 30, the net loss declined to $520,000, or 3 cents a diluted share, below the consensus estimate of a profit of 4 cents a share carried by Yahoo Finance. The year-ago loss was $1.4 million, or 7 cents.

 

Helped by a 9 percent increase in its retail unit’s same-store sales, revenues rose 27.6 percent to $196.9 million from $154.3 million in the 2010 quarter. Gross margin, however, declined to 30.2 percent of sales from 31.8 percent a year ago as cool weather depressed sales of dresses and more seasonal merchandise.

 

Shares ended the trading day down 0.3 percent to $38.47 and fell more than 7 percent in the first 90 minutes of after-hours trading.

 

On the quarterly conference call, Neal Nackman, chief financial officer, noted that the firm’s wholesale operations had a profitable first quarter for the first time in the company’s history and that both demand and margins improved as the second quarter began in May.

 

Morris Goldfarb, chairman and chief executive officer, told analysts that the Calvin Klein sportswear business and a more recent addition to its Calvin Klein offerings, handbags and luggage, should both become “at least” $200 million businesses. He was upbeat but less specific about the company’s new license for Tommy Hilfiger luggage.

 

Asked what effect a National Football League lockout could have on its sports franchise business, Goldfarb noted that it was between 3 percent and 4 percent of total revenues.

 

The company stood by expectations for year-end earnings per share of between $3.15 and $3.25 on sales of about $1.2 billion, with second-quarter EPS pegged at 18 cents to 22 cents a share on revenues of $215 million.

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