German fashion house Escada AG on Tuesday revealed it almost doubled its first half operating pre-tax profit to $17.1 million by cutting costs and inventories despite sales only climbing 1.1 per cent.

The company said in a statement that it expects full-year 2002 pre-tax profits to be as much as $28m as it looks to concentrate on its core fashion and accessories businesses while selling non-core assets.

It added sales in the US and Europe were flat - despite a double-digit fall in Germany - but said Asian sales were up. Escada also expects revenues to dip this year due to weak demand for luxury goods.