Abercrombie & Fitch posted double-digit sales and profit rises in a strong third-quarter performance from the US youth apparel retailer.

The company bucked the recent trend of retail slowdown by recording a 15% increase in net income to US$117.6m, on the back of net sales of $973.9m, 13% up on last year - although same-store sales for the three months ended 3 November were up only 1%.

There was a 48% surge in direct-to-consumer sales to $61.3m, while the company's Hollister brand saw net sales increase 14% to $414.5m. Abercrombie & Fitch itself recorded a 10% sales rise to $419.3m.

However, the company predicted net income per share for the second half of fiscal 2007 of $3.63-3.67, assuming flat same-store sales at the lower end of the range.

Abercrombie & Fitch chairman and CEO Mike Jeffries said the results demonstrated the company's ability "to consistently drive strong profits".

He added: "This strong financial result reflects the broad strength of our brands and their ability to drive leading margins.

"Our track record in this regard, combined with the excellent opportunity to expand our business both domestically and internationally, gives us confidence we will continue to produce outstanding financial results over the long term."

Meanwhile, the company has announced plans to open its first Asian store, situated in Tokyo's Ginza 6-chome shopping district. The outlet is set to open in late 2009.