Clothing retailer Vans Inc on Thursday reported a 22 per cent hike in first-quarter net income to $6.6 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with $5.4 million, or 30 cents a share, last year.

Vans said in a statement that its first-quarter results were driven by improved merchandising assortments and better in-stock positions with its biggest gains in girls and apparel.

The company also said strong performance in US wholesale during the back-to-school season has led to a more than 5 per cent increase in bookings for the second quarter.

Sales for the three months ended 30 August were $129 million, 4.6 per cent above sales of $123.3 million achieved in the same period last year. Same-store sales rose 13.7 per cent.

For the fiscal year ending in May 2004, Vans reaffirmed its guidance of 47 cents to 52 cents a share with revenue at $324 million to $334 million.