US regional retailer Tops Markets has reported a half-year profit despite a fall in sales.

Tops, which has over 120 stores in New York state and Pennsylvania, booked net income of US$10.1m for the 28 weeks to 14 July, compared to a $1.8m loss a year earlier.

The retailer benefited from lower SG&A costs, a fall in interest costs and the absence of an impairment charge that hit first-half profits last year.

Tops reported a 32.1% increase in operating income to US$42.9m. It said it benefited from lower utility costs and its moves to “contain” costs elsewhere in the business.

Net sales fell 0.8% to $1.27bn, with same-store sales down 0.4%. That said, sales in the second quarter inched up as same-store sales increased 1.6% thanks to the timing of Easter and promotional activities.

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