Department store chain Nordstrom Inc. reports net earnings for the first quarter ended April 30 of $25.65 million or 31 cents per share, up 95 percent from $13.16 million or 16 cents per share for the same quarter last year.

Net sales for the period were $610.60 million, up 10 percent from $555.03 million for the same three months last year.The company benefited from improving sales trends, better management of inventories, and steps taken last year to reduce operating expenses, said John Goesling, senior vice president. "These results compare favorably with what we regarded as a disappointing performance during the previous year's first quarter," he said.