Clothing and footwear chain The Colorado Group Ltd on Thursday reported a 31 per cent jump in 2002 net profit to A$22.5 million (US$13.4m) from A$17.1m (US$10.2m) in the year-ago period amid soaring sales.

The Brisbane-based company said sales in the 53 weeks to February 1 climbed 16 per cent year-on-year to A$442.1m (US$264m) and added it remains confident of continued double-digit earnings growth from its core business in 2003.

The firm's banners and brands include Colorado Adventurewear, Mathers Shoes, Williams the Shoemen, Skids and Palmer Corp, including signature JAG and DKNY labels, said its strongest performer was Williams the Shoemen which more than doubled its profit.

Managing director, Rowan Webb, commented: "Strong performances in Queensland and New Zealand, coupled with nine new stores, helped Colorado top line sales grow by more than 10 per cent, although this was slightly below expectation mainly due to a difficult Sydney consumer market.

"Overall, the group achieved low single digit comparable store sales growth without sacrificing margins and all divisions contributed positively to the bottom line."