Fashion group Mariella Burani on Thursday posted a 16 per cent rise in first quarter operating profit from the year-ago period thanks to a strong performance from its recently-acquired German unit Rene Lezard. The family-owned firm posted an operating profit of 7.3 million euros versus 6.3 million euros in the year prior as sales climbed 14 per cent to 89.5 million euros from 78.7 million euros.