Lands' End Inc, the catalogue and Internet retailer that is being bought by Sears for around $1.9 billion in cash, today announced its first quarter earnings more than doubled on the previous year.

Sales for the quarter were up 10 per cent to $341.2 million, while net income was $16.5 million for the quarter ended 3 May compared with $5.9 million in the prior year.

The company said the figures were the result of improved gross profit margins through better sourcing, lower levels of liquidations and lower provisions for inventory reserves.