By  on September 11, 2007

In its first earnings report as a public company, Lululemon Athletica Inc. said Monday that income more than doubled.

For the three months ended July 31, the Vancouver-based yoga apparel company's earnings jumped to $5.1 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, from $1.9 million, or 3 cents, in the year-ago quarter when the firm was still privately held.

For the same period, sales grew 80 percent to $58.7 million compared with $32.5 million in the previous year.

New stores, plus strong same-store sales, continue to drive the company's growth. Lululemon will finish the year with more than 80 stores in North America. In addition to the eight units opened in the first two quarters of fiscal 2007, Lululemon plans to open 17 stores in the second half of the year, and 30 to 35 in fiscal 2008.

Lululemon issued its initial public offering June 27, raising $327.6 million with 18.2 million shares of common stock priced at $18 each. Since then, the stock price has more than doubled, closing at $36.66 Monday, though shares fell in after-hours electronic trading.

For the first six months of the year, earnings increased 69 percent to $8.7 million, or 12 cents a diluted share, from $5.1 million, or 7 cents, in the year-ago half, on sales that climbed 70 percent to $103.5 million from $60.7 million.

"We have the right team in place," said Robert Meers, Lululemon chief executive officer. "I am constantly amazed that everyone is so committed to the company and focused on making an experience of our product, so that there is so little conversation about the pressures of the public market."

The company gave guidance of 30 to 33 cents a diluted share in fiscal year 2007, including 5 to 6 cents in the third quarter.

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