First quarter profit at German fashion label Hugo Boss has fallen by 5%, despite a rise in sales.

Earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT) came to EUR94m (US$146.1m), down from EUR99m in the corresponding period last year.

The company, part of the Valentino Fashion Group, increased total sales by 2% to EUR510m in the quarter, but said that sales in Germany slipped to EUR99m from EUR104m.

Hugo Boss said that this was primarily attributable to changes in ordering patterns in Germany and the result of the "sustained length of the winter season".

It added that the domestic decline was overcompensated by an increase in sales in other countries.

Elsewhere in Europe there was a quarterly sales increase of 2% to EUR265m, a statement said.

On the American continent, currency adjusted sales rose by 11% in the first quarter of 2008.

In the Asian region/other regions, Hugo Boss said it had increased sales by 21% to EUR58m.

The group's first quarter profits from licensing were up by 16% to EUR12m. Its own retail business opened 11 new stores, bringing it to a total of 298.

In February, Hugo Boss and its chief executive Dr Bruno Sälzer parted company, blaming differences of opinion on corporate strategy

The company said it expects a currency-adjusted growth in sales of 6-8% in the ongoing trading period, and that earnings before Interest and Tax (EBIT) should increase by 8-10%.