• Q3 profit up 52.5% to $49.4m
  • Net sales increased 10.7% to $481.5m
  • Sees FY earnings per share up 49%

Baby and children's wear maker Carter's Inc on Friday (15 January) said it is on track to lift its full-year earnings by 49% after booking "exceptional" third quarter results.

Performance was "better than we expected in nearly every component of our business," said Michael D Casey, chairman and chief executive officer.

Net income in the quarter jumped 52.5% to $49.4m or $0.84 per share, from $32.4m or $0.55 per share, a year ago.

Excluding severance and closure costs after the company cut 10% of its workforce last April and shuttered a distribution facility, net income rose 45.1%, the company said.

Net sales increased 10.7% to $481.5m, with the Carter's brands up 12.6% to $382.0m and OshKosh B'Gosh rising 4.2% to $99.5m.

Retail sales at the 273 Carter's and 169 OshKosh stores were up 14.4% to $211.8m.

Wholesale revenues also climbed, up 10.4% to $165.7m for Carter's and up 10.9% to $25.4m for OshKosh.

In the mass channel, where the company sells its Child of Mine brand to Walmart and Just One Year brand to Target, sales increased 2.3% to $78.6m.

Growth of Just One Year products was driven by new playwear programs for autumn 2009 and improved product performance, but Child of Mine sales fell after Walmart reduced its floor space.

Quarterly operating income was up 45.7% to $81.0m, driven largely by growth in earnings from its Carter's retail and wholesale segments.

"We've made good progress improving our brand presentation, inventory management disciplines, and cost structure this past year," Casey added. "We believe we're well positioned to continue to grow our sales and earnings in 2010."

The company expects fourth quarter earnings per share to be up 19% on last year at $0.56, and full-year earnings per share rising 49% to $2.10.