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On a GAAP basis, consolidated gross margin was $345.2 million, an increase of $12.8 million, primarily due to the increase in net sales. As a percent of sales, consolidated gross margin decreased to 42.2 per cent. On an adjusted basis, consolidated gross margin decreased 40 basis points, primarily due to a decrease in retail gross margin rate.
On a GAAP basis, retail gross margin was $328.8 million, an increase of $12.1 million. As a percent of sales, retail gross margin lowered to 43.6 per cent. On an adjusted basis, retail gross margin increased $10.7 million while the retail gross margin rate decreased 30 basis points primarily due to increased promotional activities, mostly offset by lower occupancy costs as a percent of sales.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the first quarter of 2018 were $93.2 million, an increase of $26.6 million compared to the end of the first quarter of 2017. There were no borrowings outstanding on our revolving credit facility at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Inventories decreased $140.6 million, or 14.3 per cent, to $843.7 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018 compared to the end of the first quarter of 2017, primarily due to a 15.0 per cent reduction in retail segment inventories, with the largest reduction at Jos A Bank.
On a GAAP basis, operating income was $52.9 million compared to $31.0 million last year. On an adjusted basis, operating income was $56.5 million compared to $48.2 million last year. As a percent of sales, adjusted operating margin increased to 6.9 per cent.
"Our improved first quarter results reflect continued execution on our growth strategies," said Tailored Brands CEO Doug Ewert. "Our brand campaigns are resonating with new and existing customers, helping drive positive 2.1 per cent retail segment comps through increased transactions and new customer acquisition. We continue to grow our custom business and enhance our offering with standard three-week delivery for Made-in-America custom suits. In addition, we are improving our omni-channel experience, with the launch of LIVE, which connects customers on our e-commerce websites with our expert in-store sales associates."
"We also continued to strengthen our balance sheet. During the quarter, we refinanced our term loan on favourable terms, extending its maturity to 2025, and we reduced our total debt by $110 million," Ewert concluded. (RR)
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