Leading Danish shoe manufacturer Ecco said on Thursday it plans to boost its annual sales of children's shoes by 300 per cent to 1.5 million pairs by 2005.

The news came as it posted a 50 per cent plunge in full-year profits for 2001 to 20.9 million euros ($18.3m) compared to its results for the year-ago period.

The company said in a statement its turnover for 2001 reached 439 million euros ($385.1m) and it sold around 10.1 million pairs of shoes. It added it expects better results in 2002 and over the next three years intends to increase sales of kids' shoes to 10 per cent of its annual shoe production.