Apparel firm Innovo Group Inc has posted a 293 per cent leap in fourth quarter net sales to $37.3 million, up from $9.5m in the same period a year earlier.

However, the Los Angeles-based company was hurt by a net loss of $5.8m for the quarter, compared to a net income of $41,000 in fourth quarter 2002.

The fourth quarter loss represented the bulk of the company's $8.3m net loss for full-year 2003.

According to CEO Jay Furrow, the issues that contributed to the loss were "identifiable" and were associated with acquisitions and the creation of new brands.

"We have and will continue to work diligently to better control inventory, better manage design and production and mitigate expenses, which we anticipate will allow sales, margins and profits to increase in future periods," he said.