G-III Apparel Group beat its own expectations by more than doubling its net sales, despite recording a first quarter loss.

The branded apparel company saw net sales soar to US$75.4m from $35.1m in the same period last year, incurring a loss per share of $0.42 - the same as last year.

G-III pointed out that the seasonal nature of its outerwear business traditionally makes its first quarter a weak one in sales terms. However, revenues were boosted by the stronger than expected sales of dresses.

"We saw a continuation of the trend toward women's dresses, which we successfully leveraged," said Morris Goldfarb, chairman and CEO.

"We were able to offset the additional seasonal losses resulting from our recent acquisition of the Andrew Marc business with the strong performance of our dress business."

Goldfarb added that the company had "an excellent opportunity" to grow by leveraging the Andrew Marc brand, entering new categories including through licensing partnerships.

"In order to support this opportunity and to raise the profile of the Andrew Marc brand, we believe the timing is appropriate to increase the marketing presence, led by a print media campaign, of the Andrew Marc brand for the upcoming fall season."

G-III is predicting second quarter net sales of about $100m, leading to a net loss of $3.6m or $0.22 per share.

For the full year, it expects net sales of $650-660m and net income of $21.7-21.8m, or $1.25-1.30 per diluted share.