Guess Inc (GES) reported second-quarter results above estimates due to better-than-expected sales in North America, sending its shares up 18 percent in after market trading.

The company said same-store sales fell 2 percent in the region during the quarter. This was a marked improvement over the 10 percent drop it had reported in the previous quarter. North America accounts for about 40 percent of the company's total sales.

"Our biggest priority this year has been to improve sales trends in North America retail. We saw a sharp improvement in the comp trends compared to the first quarter," Chief Executive Paul Marciano said on a conference call with analysts.

Many North American apparel retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co and Aeropostale have reported weak sales as customers pulled back on discretionary spending. This has led to heavy discounting and aggressive pricing competition.

Marciano said the company had resorted to discounting like its peers, but that had helped drive sales of its denims and dresses.

Overall sales rose 0.6 percent to $639 million. North American retail sales were up 1 percent.

Net income fell 7 percent to $39.8 million, or 47 cents per share, from $42.9 million, or 49 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company earned 52 cents per share in the quarter ended Aug. 3.

Analysts on average had expected second-quarter earnings of 36 cents per share on revenue of $622.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also forecast full-year adjusted earnings of $1.78-$1.92 per share, largely above analysts expectations of $1.79 per share.

Guess shares were up 18 percent at $32.30 in trading after the bell. They closed at $27.31 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)