Profit at Mariella Burani more than doubled in the first quarter the Italian fashion group said today, boosted by strong growth in sales of its leather goods.

Clothing sales rose nearly 14 per cent but leather goods were up 156 per cent to account for 30 per cent of group revenues.

Pre-tax earnings rose 137 per cent to 9.4 million euros on revenues up 52 per cent to 78.7 million euros. Operating profit more than tripled to 6.3 million euros the company said in a statement.

The company, which owns the Mariella Burani and Mila Schon fashion labels, expects full-year sales to rise strongly.