Clothing retailer Gap posted first-quarter profit unchanged on the prior year at $233m (£147.6m). It results from higher like-for-like sales in North America but weakness abroad and a rise in operating expenses. In 2011, Gap suffered a profits slide every quarter, attributed to key trend misses over the past few years. Gross margin narrowed to 39.4% from 39.6% while operating expenses rose 6.8%.

Gap sales for the quarter rose 6% to $3.49bn (£2.21bn) as like-for-like sales were up 4%. Like-for-like sales climbed 5% at both Gap North America and Banana Republic North America, while Old Navy North America’s like-for-likes increased 4%. International like-for-likes fell 4%.