Leading corporate clothing and uniform producer Cintas Corp today posted a nine per cent climb in first quarter net income to $61.6 million from $56.5m in the year-ago period.

The Cincinnati-based company said sales soared 18 per cent to $666m from $565m in 2001 with earnings per share up nine per cent to 36 cents versus 33 cents in the first quarter of last fiscal year.

Cintas, which earlier this year acquired Omni Services Inc, said in a statement it is on track to extend its record of 33 consecutive years of growth in sales and profits in fiscal 2003.

Chairman and founder, Richard Farmer, commented: "That track record has distinguished Cintas and demonstrates our ability to continue to grow and leverage our infrastructure to be a more valuable resource for our 500,000 customers."