Clothing retailer J Crew Group saw profits surge by 60% in the first quarter on the back of double-digit sales hikes in the company's retail and direct sales divisions.

Retail sales were up 14% to US$167m, while direct sales rose 12% to $66m, giving revenues of $240m, up 14% and profits of $8m, up from $5m last year. Same-store sales rose 12%.

However, gross margins were almost static, thanks to increased markdowns, while expenses were up nearly 10% because of increased catalogue production.

J Crew had planned to raise $200m through an IPO in August last year, but abandoned the plans four months later. It has since said that it would expect an IPO to raise $355m.