Shoe firm LaCrosse said its third-quarter sales and income grew as it continued to increase brand equity and grow market share in the work and outdoor markets.

Third-quarter net sales grew 6% to US$32.8m from $31m in the same period last year while net income was $0.41 per diluted share compared to $0.40 a year ago.

For the first three quarters of 2006, consolidated net sales were $76.1m, up 9% from $69.6m in the same period of 2005.

Net income was $4.1m or $0.66 income per diluted share in the period, up 29% from $3.2m or $0.52 per diluted share in the same period of 2005.

"We are pleased with our sales and earnings performance for the third quarter, despite a cautious retail environment in the first half of the quarter," said Joseph P Schneider, president and CEO.

"In coming periods, we plan to introduce new lines of work apparel for specialised safety markets, reinforcing the tradition of performance and innovation associated with our brands."

He added: "…we continue to try to further strengthen our gross margins, inventory management and balance sheet."