Leading marketer of luxury leather goods, Coach Inc, on Wednesday posted a big jump in second quarter sales and lifted its earnings forecast as it continued to enjoy strong global sales.

The New York-based company said second quarter sales surged 30.9 per cent to $308.5 million from $235.8m in the year-ago period and added it now expects second quarter earnings per share of at least 65 cents.

That compares to its original second quarter outlook of sales of $290m and earnings per share of around 61 cents.

Coach said direct-to-consumer sales increased 19.3 per cent to $191.5m from $160.5m last year with same-store sales for up 12.7 per cent, with retail stores up 18.1 per cent and factory store sales up 5.8 per cent.

Indirect sales surged 55.5 per cent to $117.1m from $75.3m in 2001 as it continued to enjoy significant sales growth in Japan - from both new store openings and comparable location increases - and continued momentum in US department stores.

Chairman and CEO, Lew Frankfort, said: "I'm delighted with the continued strength of our results. Our robust holiday sales reflect the vibrancy of the Coach brand and our improvement in profitability was a result of both gross margin expansion and the further leveraging of our expense base."

"We experienced very strong holiday sales across all channels of our business. This strength reflects increased consumer demand for our product across virtually all women's categories from handbags and small leather goods to newer and expanded categories such as footwear, hats and scarves.

"We're also pleased with the double-digit increases in comparable location sales in Japan this quarter and the sales of our new Ginza flagship store," he added.

"Given the Japanese consumer's sustained demand for fine accessories and enthusiasm for our new product offering, Coach is well positioned for continued market share growth in Japan."