• Q1 profit jumped 43% to $333m 
  • Net sales rose 7% to $3.73bn 
  • Comparable sales increased 2%

Specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc has seen its financial year get off to a "strong start" with profit jumping 43% thanks to sales gains at its namesake and Old Navy chains.

The company, which also operates the Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta brands, saw net income surge to $333m in the three months to 4 May, up from $223m in the same period last year. 

Net sales rose 7% to $3.73bn, compared with $3.49bn a year ago, with comparable sales increasing 2%.

"We are pleased with our strong start to the year, especially first quarter sales," said chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy."

By division, comparable sales rose 3% at both Gap and Old Navy, and were flat at Banana Republic.

The company, which generates 79% of its sales in the US, worth $2.93bn, has been working to build its business internationally. It added that sales in Europe were flat with last year's quarter at $198m, but Asia saw gains of 14.6% in $313m.

The company reaffirmed its full year earnings per share guidance of $2.52 to $2.60.