By  on May 2, 2012

Shares of True Religion Apparel Inc. rose nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the premium denim brand reported better-than-expected sales and profits and initiated a quarterly dividend.

Sales in the quarter were paced by 22.6 percent growth in the U.S. direct business, including a 13.3 percent jump in comparable sales, a combination of same-store and e-commerce revenues. Sales of nondenim sportswear rose to 33 percent of U.S. direct revenues from 30 percent during the first quarter of 2011, according to Lynne Koplin, president of the company, with the men’s business performing especially well. Women’s has been more challenging within the company’s wholesale operations, although Koplin said, “I think we’ve stabilized it.”

In the three months ended March 31, net income rose 15.9 percent to $10.4 million, or 41 cents a diluted share, from $9 million, or 36 cents, in last year’s quarter. Earnings per share results were expected to be flat.

 

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