• Q4 profit jumped 40% to $48.7m
  • Net sales up 13.6% to $689m 
  • Full-year net profit rose 41.3% to $161.2m

Children's wear maker Carter's has reported a 40% increase in fourth-quarter profit, driven by rising sales of products sold under its namesake brand.

The company today (27 February) posted net income of US$48.7m for the quarter ended 29 December, up from $34.8m the same period the prior year.

Excluding costs related to the relocation of its Shelton, Connecticut, operations and its acquisition of Bonnie Togs, adjusted net income jumped 44.1% to $53.7m, compared to $37.3m the year before.

Net sales were up 13.6% to $689m against $606.6m the previous year, driven by international sales growth and sales of its Carter's branded products, which posted gains of 19.5% to $64.9m and 6.9% to $517m respectively. The OshKosh B'gosh brand, however, saw sales fall 2.3% to $107.4m.

Over the full year, net income increased 41.3% to $161.2m, compared to $114m the prior year. Net sales rose 12.9% to $2.4bn from $2.12bn the prior year.

"We achieved a record level of sales and earnings in our fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012. Our results reflect the strength of our product offerings, our focus on extending the reach of our brands, and the effectiveness of our growth initiatives," said chairman and CEO Michael Casey.

"We are forecasting good growth in sales and earnings in 2013, and are planning a higher level of investments to support our growth strategies in the United States and international markets."

Carter's said it ended its agreement with a former licensee in Japan earlier this month and has introduced a new leadership team in the country but retained the majority of the former licensee's employees.

The company's near-term priorities for its new operations in Japan include strengthening brand presentation and retail execution, and leveraging its supply chain capabilities to improve product costs and profitability.

Looking forward, Carter's expects first-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share, excluding expenses related to its corporate office consolidation and Bonnie Togs acquisition, to increase approximately 20% compared to $0.56 in the first quarter of 2012.

Full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share, excluding expenses, are expected to increase approximately 15% compared to adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.85 in fiscal 2012.