Fashion, footwear and accessories maker, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc, on Tuesday posted a rise in first quarter profit thanks to improved wholesale and licensing revenues.

The New York-based firm, whose brands include Reaction Kenneth Cole and Unlisted, reported net income of $6.3 million, or 31 cents a share versus $5.5m, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales rose to $110.1m from $92.9m but same-store sales fell 7.3 per cent.

It also reaffirmed its second quarter earnings outlook of 29 cents to 31 cents a share on sales of $107m to $110m For the second half, it sees earnings of 96 cents a share on net sales of $260m to $265m.

Chairman and CEO, Kenneth Cole, said: "We are pleased to have reported earnings in-line with our expectations for the first quarter. While the retail marketplace remains challenging, we are proud of the job we have been able to do.

"We are realistic about the environment and will continue to plan and operate appropriately. We are looking forward to continuing to meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead.

"We are comfortable with our ability to execute, meet short-term operating targets, and position for long-term growth."