Specialty retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc said tight management of inventory and expenses drove strong first-quarter earnings.

For the first quarter of 2005, net income rose 17 per cent to $17.6 million, compared to $15.0m in the same period last year.

First-quarter sales rose 14.1 per cent to $280.0m from $245.5m a year ago, while same-store sales grew 3.0 per cent.

Pacific Sunwear, operating under two distinct retail concepts, is a retailer of everyday casual apparel, accessories and footwear designed for active teenagers and young adults.