A 6.9 percent increase in turnover gave Steve Madden sales of $107.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, and net income more than tripled to $6.6 million compared with $2.1 million in the same period last year. The quarterly operating margin jumped by 6.8 full percentage points to 9.6 percent, and that is taking into account a $4.9 million charge on the operating results.

The company noted that Steve Madden Women’s and Madden Girl wholesale footwear businesses did quite well, as did the start of the l.e.i. label at Wal-Mart stores. The wholesalesegment overall had revenues up by 7.6 percent to $81.3 million. Retail sales grew by 4.4 percent to $26.1 million, with a 7.6 percent increase in comparable store sales.

The gross margin went up by 0.5 percentage points to 40.5 percent, with a flat margin in retail and a 0.7-percentage-point increase in wholesale. The wholesale gain was attributed to lower markdown allowances, while retail was highly promotional in the quarter. One new store was opened while four were closed for a quarter-end total of 94 retail locations, including the online store.

For the full year, Steve Madden expects sales to be between flat and 2 percent lower than for 2008. Excluding the change of Candies to a “first cost” model from wholesale, and the reverse for the international business, sales are expected to drop by 2-4 percent.