Milan-listed footwear firm Geox has posted a 9% rise in first quarter profit to EUR79.1m (US$122.17m), despite unfavourable domestic weather conditions.

Sales at the Italian company were up 17% at constant exchange rates to EUR365.0m during the quarter, and up 20% at the end of April.

Footwear represented 93% of consolidated sales, with apparel making up the rest and showing an 88% increase.

Geox said that Italy remains the group's main market accounting for 35% of sales, with the rest of Europe generating 49% of sales, and the US coming in at 14% of sales.

Mario Moretti Polegato, chairman and founder of Geox, said: "Our sales rose by 17% at the end of March and further increased 20% at the end of April, despite the fact that performances in March and April were heavily penalised by the unfavourable weather conditions in Italy and in Europe.

"Although the current macroeconomic situation remains difficult and the consumer goods' demand is volatile, we are confident that Geox Group will continue to grow significantly even this year, also based on the excellent orders backlog for the autumn/winter collections."

Last month Geox launched a collection of sports shoes using patented mesh technology, entering the sportswear market sector for the first time.