Innovo Group Inc, owner of Joe's Jeans, on Tuesday revealed it swung to a third quarter profit on the back of a 287 per cent jump in quarterly net sales to $10.1 million from $2.6m in the year-ago period.

The Los Angeles-based company reported net income for the quarter ended August 31, of $820,000 compared with a loss of $16,000 in the prior year quarter.

Nine-month sales for fiscal 2002 surged 251 per cent to $20.2 million from the year-ago period, while Joe's Jeans enjoyed a 552 per cent surge in sales amid strong demand in the international market.

Delighted Innovo Group CEO, Jay Furrow, said: "These results underscore the strong improvements that have been continuing throughout the first three quarters of this year in all three of our three main operating subsidiaries - Innovo Inc (Innovo), Joe's Jeans (Joe's) and Innovo Azteca Apparel Inc (IAA).

"Innovo's increase is a direct result of this unit's ability to continue to expand its customer base for its branded product lines, a continued increase in demand for its craft products, and its ongoing success with growing its private label business.

"This resulted in Innovo achieving a 136 per cent increase in revenues for the quarter compared to the same period last year."

He added: "In the case of IAA, which was created in the third quarter of 2001 to market general apparel products, we continued to see its business expand through growth from both existing and new customers.

"We are optimistic that the year ahead will continue to provide strong growth opportunities, and we look forward to the challenge of continuing to meet the high expectations we have set for the company."