Outdoor apparel and footwear maker Columbia Sportswear Co has reported a 34 per cent jump in first quarter profit to $20 million, up from $14.9m in the same period a year earlier.

The Oregon-based company also posted improved net sales of $206.7m for the quarter, up from $168.9m in the prior first quarter.

"Columbia again delivered strong sales and operational performance in the first quarter, driven by accelerating demand for our spring-related sportswear and footwear products," CEO Tim Boyle said.

"During the quarter, operating margins expanded to record first quarter levels, demonstrating the strong financial leverage in the organisation."

Columbia is the leading seller of skiwear in the United States.