NEW YORK — Rising sales across all three of its business segments in the second quarter helped Guess Inc. swing to a profit from a loss in the year-ago period.

For the quarter ended June 26, the Los Angeles-based denim designer and retailer recorded earnings of $2.1 million, or 5 cents a diluted share, besting Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 1 cent. Comparatively, the company reported a loss of $5.4 million, or 13 cents, in the year-ago period.

Sales jumped 17.6 percent to $154.1 million from $131 million. The company’s 264-unit retail operation led the way, posting a 20.5 percent increase to $115.2 million from $95.7 million. According to the company, comparable-store sales rose 15.1 percent during the quarter. The company’s wholesale segment posted a midsingle-digit increase, while the licensing group experienced a 22 percent boost to $9.6 million from $7.9 million.

The strength of retail carried over into results for the first six months, as well, helping drive earnings to $2.9 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $11.2 million, or 26 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Sales increased 13.6 percent to $307.4 million from $270.6 million. Retail sales rose 19.8 percent to $214.8 million from $179.3 million, followed by a 9.6 percent gain to $20.5 million from $18.7 million in the licensing group. Sales in the wholesale division remained essentially flat.

According to management, the retail trend shows no signs of slowing. For July, the company is expecting to announce comps in the midteen level.

— Ross Tucker

This story first appeared in the July 30, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.