Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Perry Ellis International's Fiscal Year 2019 First Quarter Results Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that some of the comments made on the call either as part of the prepared remarks or in response to your questions may contain forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such information is subject to risks and uncertainties as described in the press release and in documents that we have filed with the SEC.
Joining us today for this call from Perry Ellis are Oscar Feldenkreis, Chief Executive Officer and President, and Jorge Narino, Chief Financial Officer.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Oscar Feldenkreis. Please go ahead.
Thank you for joining our first earnings call for the new fiscal year 2019. We are pleased to report a solid revenue growth and profit. For the first quarter, total revenues increased 5% over last year to $255 million, reflecting a strong performance in golf and Nike swim.
This growth continues to be fueled by the strength of our product innovation and the successful execution of our growth initiatives that are focused on higher margin brands, channels, and geographies. We also have benefited from increased replenishments for the spring shipments.
Sales across all geographies and channels from a geographical perspective, both North America wholesale and Europe, grew mid-single digits plus 5% across channels. Direct to consumer produced high-single digits of plus-8%, while licensing revenue was up to last year and in line with plan.
In total, revenues growth of $14 million over last year was driven by the growth and momentum of our golf brands and Nike Swim, and also includes a re-class of $1.5 million in licensing advertising contribution from SG&A to revenue due to the new accounting revenue recognition rules. This growth was offset by declines in our women's business.
Adjusted EPS was $0.78, which includes the exit of Bon-Ton, Laundry moving to a licensed business model, and the higher tax rate driven by the reversal of our tax valuation allowance.
Additional highlights for the year. A very strong balance sheet with cash and investments totaling $54 million, which provides us with ample liquidity to facilitate the $50 million bond redemption that took place on May 29th; equally strong inventory position at $151 million, substantially down from the year end but slightly up to last year by $11 million, fueling spring shipments.
A high-single-digit comp sales increase in direct to consumer accompanied by high teens comp margin increases over last year. Perry Ellis brand had a strong first quarter highlighted by single-digit growth in the collections business, which was on plan.
Despite the late Easter and weather challenges, we did see strength in short sleeved product in Q1. Short sleeve wovens were our best performing category with plus-25% increase over last year. All short sleeve wovens and
Chief Executive Officer and President
Chief Financial Officer
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