Swank Inc. came back to the black for the first quarter, but the firm is doing a bit of belt tightening until it can get around higher costs working their way through the supply chain.

 

Net income at the New York-based company tallied $32,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $457,000, or 8 cents, a year earlier. Year-ago results were pulled down by a $1.5 million pretax charge taken after the firm severed its ties with Style 365, which markets women’s belts and accessories.

 

Sales for the three months ended March 31 rose 1.7 percent to $26.1 million from $25.7 million.

 

John Tulin, chairman and chief executive officer, said sales of personal leather goods were “very strong,” offsetting declines in both the jewelry and belt businesses.

 

Swank, which markets men’s jewelry, belts and personal leather goods under licenses with Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Buffalo David Bitton, Donald Trump and others, is starting to get pinched by higher costs.

 

“We have been partnering closely with our vendors to develop creative strategies for mitigating some of those increases, as well exploring alternative sources for the company’s merchandise,” Tulin said. “In the meantime, we recognize the importance of maintaining tight control over operating expenses and keeping our balance sheet strong.”

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