US footwear group Deckers Outdoor has improved its first quarter earnings, describing the period as stronger than expected.

The Ugg boots operator said that net income in Q1 was US$18.1m, compared with $12.4m in the prior year period.

Deckers said that net sales increased 16.2% to $155.9 and that gross margin improved to 50.0% versus 43.9% a year ago. Ugg brand sales increased 14.2% to $104.4m.

Deckers CEO Angel Martinez said: "Our first quarter earnings performance was much stronger than expected, driven by higher sales of the Ugg brand combined with double digit growth of the Teva brand."

Based on the results the company is raising its full-year outlook and now expects full-year revenue to increase approximately 13% over 2009 levels, compared to previous guidance of around 11%.