Wet Seal 1Q Profit Jumps 18%

Foothill Ranch, Calif. Wet Seal Inc. said its first-quarter profit jumped 18% as sales at newer stores and lower expenses helped offset a decline in same-store sales.

For the quarter ended May 3, net income climbed to $8.9 million from $7.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses fell slightly and the company reported a smaller provision for income taxes. Wet Seal said its new store pre-opening expenses were $100,000, compared with $1 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 3% to $142.4 million from $138 million in the first quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, same-store sales fell 7.5%.