Improved sales and higher margins led Steven Madden Ltd. to more than double its first quarter profits.
 
For the three months ended March 31, the Long Island City, N.Y.-based footwear firm’s profits totaled $15.4 million, or 55 cents a diluted share. A year ago, the firm’s first quarter net was $6.6 million, or 24 cents a share.
 
Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected earnings per share of 38 cents, on average.
 
Sales in the quarter rose 22.5 percent to $131.6 million from $107.4 million in the comparable period. The company said its gross margin grew to 45.5 percent from 40.5 percent in the three months.
 
For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s WWD.

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