Footstar Inc (NYSE:FTS) today reported that total sales for the five-week period ended December 30, 2000 increased 24.8 per cent to $282.3m from $226.3m in the same period last year.

Total sales at the company's Meldisco division increased 8.5 per cent to $160.0m from $147.4m, and total sales for the athletic segment increased 55.1 per cent to $122.3m from $78.9m.

Footstar's comparable store sales for the month of December increased 7.2%. Meldisco's comparable store sales increased 10.5 per cent, while comparable store sales for the athletic segment increased 0.8 per cent.

Mickey Robinson, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "Footstar turned in a solid performance in December, in spite of a difficult retail environment.

"While sales got off to a slow start early in the month, we saw a dramatic improvement at Meldisco and Footaction during the two weeks prior to Christmas.

"Meldisco achieved another outstanding month, with higher sales in every department, led by exceptional results in winter-related product. In the athletic segment, while sales were above last year, they fell short of expectations due to lower than anticipated results in apparel and accessories, in part reflecting the promotional climate."

For the 52 week period ended December 30, 2000, Footstar's total sales increased 19.0 per cent to $2,237.1m from $1,880.0m for the 52 weeks ended January 1, 2000.

Meldisco's total sales for the full year increased 5.9 per cent to $1,310.1m from $1,236.7m for the prior-year, while sales for the athletic segment increased 44.1 per cent to $927.0m from $643.3m in the same period last year.

Footstar's comparable store sales for the 52 week period increased 4.1 per cent. Meldisco's comparable store sales rose 5.4 oer cent and the athletic segment's comparable store sales increased 1.6 per cent.