Casual clothing group Guess Inc on Monday posted a sharp rise in third quarter net profit from the year-ago period as it was boosted by strong retail sales growth.

The California-based company posted net earnings for the quarter ended September 27 soared to $6.7 million, or 15 cents per share, from $3.4m, or eight cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Total sales rose 5.6 per cent to $166.7m from $157.8m last year with retail sales up 20.5 per cent year-on-year to $94.8m with same-store sales up 13.2 per cent, but licensing and wholesale revenues down 17.5 per cent and 16.6 per cent, respectively.

President and COO, Carlos Alberini, commented: "We are pleased with our solid financial performance in the third quarter which is indicative of the positive trends underway at our company.

"Our current product lines have been well received by our customers, resulting in sales gains in our stores and good sell-throughs in all channels.

During the period, we continued to manage the business effectively, driving higher margins and reducing expenses even as we continued to grow overall sales and open new stores.

"As a result of these efforts, all of our business segments had a positive contribution to our operating profit in the quarter."

Guess added it expects October same-store sales in its retail stores to increase in the mid single digit range.