Hexcel Corp. reported a 50-percent increase Tuesday in first-quarter net income.

The company's earnings came to $39.6 million, up from $26.4 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net sales at Hexcel also were up, by 20.7 percent from $331.6 million in the first quarter of 2011 to $400.1 million.

Hexcel's commercial aerospace division grew 22.6 percent to $242.3 million, and its industrial division's sales were up 34.3 percent to $72.9 million. The space and defense division saw an in its quarterly sales year-over-year by 6.5 percent to $84.9 million.

Hexcel, a composite technologies company, is based in Stamford, Conn., and operates a manufacturing plant in Windsor.