Zumiez says net sales grew 11 percent in March, and key sales reading also picked up

Sports apparel retailer Zumiez said Wednesday its sales picked up in March.

The operator of Zumiez and Blue Tomato stores reported $70.7 million in net sales over the five-week period that ended on Saturday. That was up 11.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

Sales at location open at least a year, an important measurement of retailer health, increased 5.5 percent.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a reading that strips out results from stores that opened or closed within the last year.

The Lynnwood, Washington-based company runs 610 stores, 552 of them in the U.S.

Zumiez Inc. shares rose 34 cents to $37.90 Wednesday and were unchanged in aftermarket trading. The stock has climbed 52 percent over the last 12 months.