Neiman’s quarterly profits nearly double, led by jewelry sales

The Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas, said that first-quarter profit almost doubled and sales showed their best increase in three years as shoppers bought more jewelry, designer handbags, and dresses.

Net income climbed 97%, to $56.2 million from $28.5 million a year earlier, when the company wrote down the value of some assets. Sales in the period, which ended Nov. 1, increased 12%, to $824.9 million, Neiman Marcus said.

Neiman Marcus also tightened inventory, permitting it to sell more dresses and purses without the help of discounts.

Sales at stores open at least a year increased 5.8% in November, the first month of the holiday selling season. Demand was strongest for women’s sportswear and dresses, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, and designer jewelry.

Neiman Marcus said it expected second-quarter revenue to increase as much as 9%.