Controversial youth-oriented apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co has reported a 13 per cent rise in first quarter net profit to $23.3 million compared with $20.6m in the prior year.

The Ohio-based operator of 507 stores hit the headlines last month after being forced to withdraw a range of T-shirts amid a race row but said its results had been boosted by tight control of inventory and expenses.
Net sales jumped 19 per cent to $312.8 million, but same-store sales slipped fell six per cent. "With the controls we have in place I'm confident we can continue to increase our earnings in the second quarter," said chairman and CEO Mike Jeffries.