A display inside Abercrombie's Shanghai store.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co., showing positive comps at both Abercrombie and Hollister, narrowed its loss to $19.2 million in the first quarter ended May 4, from $42.5 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales increased to $734 million from $731 million, including the adverse impact from changes in foreign currency exchange rates of about $16 million or 2 percent.

Overall comparable sales rose 1 percent. Hollister posted a 2 percent comp gain, with total sales slightly ahead to $428.45 million from $432.63 million in the year-ago period.

The Abercrombie division posted a 1 percent comp sales gain, with total sales slipping slightly to $305.52 million, from $307.27 million.

The operating loss declined to $27.3 million, from $42.2 million in the year-ago period. The net loss per share, on a diluted basis, was $0.29 compared to $0.62 last year.

“We achieved our seventh consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales fueled by ongoing strength at Hollister and a return to positive comps at Abercrombie,” said chief executive officer Fran Horowitz. “This contributed to top-line growth, operating margin improvement and a net loss reduction compared to last year.

“We are focused on our transformation initiatives, with global store network optimization a key priority. We continue to believe in stores and are committed to delivering intimate, omnichannel brand experiences that closely align with our customers’ needs. In line with our strategy, we are announcing plans to close three additional flagship locations, bringing the total to five since 2017. Except for the charges from these flagship store actions, we remain on track to achieve our previously communicated fiscal 2019 outlook and continue to lay the foundation to achieving our fiscal 2020 targets.”

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