Women's apparel retailer and cataloguer J Jill Group Inc on Thursday revealed it more than doubled its second quarter earnings to $6.4 million from $2.5m in 2001 on the back of a 30.5 per cent jump in sales to $86.4m from $66.2m in the year-ago period.

The Massachusetts-based company said for the current quarter it sees sales of $76m to $79m and earnings per share of $0.17 to $0.18, and in the fourth quarter sales of $106m to $110m and earnings per share of $0.41 to $0.43.

The chain, which sells fashions to women aged over 35, added that for the year, it expects net sales of $342m and $349m and earnings per share of $1.04 to $1.07, compared to the prior year's $0.70.

J Jill President and CEO, Gordon Cooke, commented: "During the quarter our full price spring and summer merchandise continued to be well received, which, combined with low levels of promotional activity, resulted in the most profitable second quarter in our company's history.

"Our earnings per diluted share of $0.32 more than doubled from the prior year period and our operating margin of 12.7 per cent far exceeds any previous second quarter performance."