Apparel retailer Dillard’s has reported profit for the third quarter, an increase from last year, reflecting lower expenses and higher comparable store sales.

The company reported net income of $50.9m for the third quarter, higher than $48.5m in the prior-year quarter, which included net after-tax credit totaling $2.4m.

Net sales for the quarter grew to $1.47bn from $1.45bn in the same quarter last year. It include the operations of the company’s construction business CDI Contractors.

Total merchandise sales, which exclude CDI, increased to $1.44bn from $1.43bn a year ago while comparable store sales for the quarter grew 1%.

The company noted that sales trends were notably strong in ladies’ accessories and lingerie, followed by shoes and ladies’ apparel. Sales were weakest in the home and furniture category.

Sales trends were also strongest in the Central region, followed by the Eastern and Western regions, respectively.

Consolidated gross margin, including CDI, contracted 40 basis points from a year ago. Gross margin from retail operations, which excludes CDI, also decreased 30 basis points.

At the end of the third quarter, the company operated 282 Dillard’s locations and 17 clearance centers spanning 29 states.

Dillard’s CEO William Dillard said, "Another positive comparable store sales increase and expense control highlighted our third quarter at Dillard’s, as did our aggressive execution of $187 million of share buyback. "