The Zalando website

BERLIN — Zalando stepped up sales in the first quarter, but Easter’s earlier timing in 2016 and traditionally slower business during the holiday period pressured the apparel e-tailer’s operative earnings, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday.

The Berlin-based company said it expects first-quarter sales to advance between 22.5 percent and 24.5 percent, reaching from 788 million euros to 801 million euros, or $868.7 million to $883 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, on the other hand, is expected to come in at 12 million euros to 28 million euros, or $13.3 million to $30.9 million, compared to 29 million euros, or $32.3 million, for the same prior-year period. This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent compared with 4.5 percent for first-quarter 2015.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods in question.

In addition to Easter, which was in the second quarter in 2015, the first quarter is normally a softer three-month period not only for Zalando, but the industry in general, a company spokeswoman noted.

The online giant confirmed its full-year guidance of revenue gains at the upper end of a 20 percent to 25 percent growth corridor and an adjusted EBIT margin of 3 percent to 4.5 percent.

Rubin Ritter, member of Zalando’s management board, said: “We are well on track to deliver on our promise of strong growth and solid profitability for the full year.”

Final first-quarter figures will be released on May 12.