LaCrosse Footwear Inc on Wednesday posted a second quarter net loss but said new products continue to drive an overall improvement in gross margins.

The net loss for the period ended 26 June was $237,000. This compares to a net income of $4,000 in the same period of 2003.

For the second quarter, net sales were $18.6 million, up slightly from $18.58m in the second quarter of 2003.

Overall gross margin was 32.1 per cent of net sales for the second quarter, up from 30.2 per cent for the same period of 2003.

The company attributed this margin growth to sales of new, higher margin products, including the LaCrosse Quad Comfort line of occupational boots.

"We are encouraged with consumer and dealer responses to our new work and outdoor boots," said Joseph P Schneider, president and CEO of LaCrosse Footwear.