BERLIN — With net income doubling and sales surging 67 percent in the first quarter of 2006, Boss Womenswear made a “crucial contribution” to the company’s strong financial performance, the Hugo Boss Group said Thursday.

Net income for the women’s segment climbed to 2.6 million euros, or $3.1 million, from 1.3 million euros, or $1.6 million, in same period last year on sales that rose to 43.6 million euros, or $52.4 million, from 26 million euros, or $33 million. All dollar figures are converted from the euro at the average exchange rate.

The Metzingen-based group said the successful launch of the casual Boss Orange women’s wear collection was a key factor in growing its women’s business.

Confirming preliminary figures released last Monday, net income for the group rose 15 percent to 60 million euros, or $72.2 million, with group sales up 13 percent to 459 million euros, or $552 million.

European sales rose 11 percent for the group, reaching 330 million euros, or $397 million, and domestic sales grew 16 percent to 97 million euros, or $117 million, despite weak market conditions. Sales in the U.K. however, declined 7 percent on a currency-adjusted basis to 30 million euros, or $36 million, “as a result of the overall weak market environment,” the company said.

In the U.S., the group recorded a 27 percent increase in sales to 51 million euros, or $61.3 million. This represents a 16 percent rise in terms of local currency. The growth, according to the company, “reflects the continuation of the positive trend both in wholesale and in directly operated stores.”

Asia and other regions rose 11 percent to 46 million euros, or $55.3 million.

This story first appeared in the May 1, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.