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Gap May sales figure up 7 percent

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Gap Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 7 percent in May, more than expected, helped by strong results at its namesake and Old Navy chains.

The company said customers reacted positively to summer clothing across all of its brands. Its stock rose almost 3 percent in aftermarket trading.

Analysts expected revenue in stores open at least one year to rise 4.1 percent, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

The measure is a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

The metric rose 8 percent at Gap, was flat at Banana Republic and rose 9 percent at Old Navy stores.

Total revenue for the four weeks ended June 1 rose 11 percent to $1.22 billion.

Gap was among several retailers reporting modest gains in May, as Americans appear to gradually feel better about the economy. Overall, sales in stores open at least one year rose 3.4 percent in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 13 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers trade group.

San Francisco-based Gap's stock rose $1.07, or 2.6 percent to $42.05 in aftermarket trading, after ending the day up 73 cents at $40.98.