Phoenix Footwear Group, the parent of Trotters and SoftWalk, reported a 16.7 percent sales growth to $6.7 million for the first quarter ended April 4, as compared to the first quarter a year ago. Growth was driven by a 143 percent jump in the sales of licensed footwear sold into the medical uniform channel of distribution and an increase in customer demand of both Totters and Softwalk spring products. The company reported a loss from continuing operations of $39,000, compared with earnings from continuing operations of $171,000 for the first quarter ended March 29, 2014. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (ebitda) were $392,000 versus $382,000 for first quarter of fiscal 2014. Interest expense for the current quarter included non-recurring pre-payment and other refinancing costs of $167,000 incurred with the entry into a new loan and security agreement. In addition, during the quarter, the company incurred a non-cash charge of $66,000 related to the full vesting of previously granted stock options. Gross profit as a percentage of sales declined to 35.6 percent from 36.9 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The 130 basis point decline was primarily due to the clearance of phased out and discontinued autumn styles and increased sales volume of lower margin licensed footwear when compared to the same period of the prior year.