May 31, 2007 / 8:20 PM / in 11 years

J. Crew first quarter net profit rises

NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - Apparel retailer J. Crew Group Inc. JCG.N said on Thursday that quarterly profit rose, helped by higher sales at existing stores and higher margins.

Net income for the first quarter was $24.6 million, or 39 cents per share, up from $7.8 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting 30 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

((Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Carol Bishopric; Reuters messaging: martinne.geller.reuters.com@reuters.net; martinne.geller@reuters.com; +1 646 223 6023)) Keywords: JCREW RESULTS/

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