Leading women's fashion retailer J Jill Group yesterday posted a huge leap in first quarter profits amid surging sales of its spring collections.

The company reported net income of $2.7 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, compared to $0.8m, or seven cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales jumped 15.8 per cent to $73.4m from $63.3m and the company now expects second quarter sales of $81-$83m and earnings of 26-28 cents per diluted share.

J Jill added it now expects full-year earnings of $1.32-$1.37 per share, compared with its previous forecast of $1.24-$1.29. Last year, the firm earned $1.05 per share.