Warnaco Group Inc's sportswear sales have pushed up first-quarter profit by 45 per cent.

Net income for the quarter increased to $29.4 million compared to $20.2m for the first quarter of financial 2004.

First-quarter net revenue rose $46.3m to $439.5m from $393.3m in the first quarter of 2004, encouraged by good Sportswear Group sales, the expanded distribution of the Chaps brand and the continued strength of Calvin Klein jeans.

Joe Gromek, Warnaco's president and chief executive officer, said: "Product successes from many of our leading brands, across multiple channels both domestic and international, drove top and bottom-line improvements. In addition, improved execution and cost controls contributed to a 23 per cent increase in first-quarter operating income."

Gromek added that the company would concentrate on pushing expansion and new initiatives throughout the rest of 2005.

Warnaco will launch its first full Op swimwear and Op young men's and juniors' apparel ranges this summer.

The Warnaco Group Inc is a leading apparel company engaged in the business of designing, marketing and selling intimate apparel, menswear, jeans wear, swimwear, men's and women's sportswear and accessories under brands such as Warner's, Olga, Lejaby, Body Nancy Ganz and Speedo.