DSW performed much better in the second quarter, which ended on July 30, posting a 12.3 percent increase in comparable store sales against the 12.0 percent gain recorded in the same period a year ago. Total sales rose by 14.7 percent to $476.3 million and the gross margin improved by 2.4 percentage points to 32.7 percent. Net profit surged to $139.9 million from $26.9 million, but this came after an extraordinary gain of $106.2 million from its recent merger with Retail Ventures. Excluding the items related to the merger, the quarterly adjusted net income was $33.7 million, still up from $23.5 million a year ago. The company raised its profit forecast for the full and announced a special dividend of $2 a share.