Steve Madden beat its own expectations in the first quarter of 2021 with revenues increasing by 0.5 percent to $361.0 million and a net income of $21.2 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $17.5 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, a year earlier.

Adjusted net income rose to $26.9 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, from $13.0 million, or $0.16 per diluted share.

The gross margin of the U.S. designer of footwear, accessories and apparel increased to 38.5 percent from 37.2 percent. Operating expenses as a percentage of revenues fell to 30.6 percent from 33.8 percent in the same period of 2020. On an adjusted basis, operating expenses dropped to 28.7 percent of sales from 33.2 percent.

Revenues for the wholesale business were $291.4 million, a 3.7 percent decrease year-on-year with a 7.8 percent decline in footwear partially offset by a 10.3 percent increase in accessories and apparel. The gross margin in the wholesale business declined to 32.3 percent from 32.5 percent due to a shift in sales mix.

Retail revenues totaled $67.5 million, a 27.5 percent increase driven by strong performance in the e-commerce business. The gross margin rose to 63.5 percent from 59.8 percent. The company ended the quarter with 215 company-operated retail stores, including seven internet stores, as well as 17 company-operated concessions in international markets.

“We are off to a good start to 2021, with first quarter results that significantly exceeded our expectations,” said Edward Rosenfeld, the company’s chairman and CEO. For the second quarter of 2021, Steve Madden expects revenues will be in the range of $360 million to $365 million and diluted earnings per share will be in the range of $0.26 to $0.28. Given the continued disruption and uncertainty related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company did not provide a full-year guidance.

During the first quarter, Steve Madden repurchased 154,040 shares of its common stock for $5.6 million. As of March 31, the company’s cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $273.0 million.