US retail group The Gymboree Corporation has reported a 19.6% rise in first quarter profit, helped by stronger sales at its Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet, Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 stores.

Earnings rose to $25.0m for the quarter, up from $20.9m for the same period of the prior year.

Net sales from retail operations totalled $238.9m in the three months to 3 May, up 16% over last year. Same-store sales increased 4%.

Matthew McCauley, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We were able to deliver close to a 30% increase in earnings per share.

"Looking forward, we are continuing to focus on our strategies of acquiring new customers, expanding our store base and controlling expenses to grow earnings."

For the second quarter the company expects a low single digit same-store sales increase, and net income to be in the range of $3.10 to $3.15 per diluted share.