Kate Spade sales gets boost from North America demand

Craig Leavitt, chief executive officer of Kate Spade
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Craig Leavitt, chief executive officer of Kate Spade

Handbag maker and accessories maker Kate Spade's sales at established stores in the first quarter handily beat analysts' estimates due to higher demand in North America.

The company is focusing on its higher-end brand, kate spade new york, investing in its online business and expanding into areas such as furniture and children's clothing to become a more lifestyle brand.

Same-store sales, including those online, rose 19 percent, the biggest rise in five quarters, and easily beat the average analyst estimate of 13.1 percent growth, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Sales in North America rose 17 percent, to $219 million, in the latest quarter, picking up from the 14.9 percent rise in the previous quarter.

The region accounts for 80 percent of total sales, which rose 7.5 percent to $274.4 million in the quarter ended April 2.

That helped the company post a net profit of $11.6 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a loss of $55.2 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.