Global sourcing giant Li & Fung Ltd on Thursday reported a 21 per cent increase in first-half net profit, boosted by bigger orders from retailers such as Walt Disney Co, Abercrombie & Fitch Co and Kohl's Corp.

Net income rose to HK$502 million or 17.3 Hong Kong cents a share, from HK$414.4 million, or 14.3 HK cents, a year ago.

Managing director William Fung reiterated his forecast that earnings will grow at least 10 per cent this year.

However, profit growth after 2004 could drop once global quotas on garment exports are lifted and textile prices deflate.

Some customers may dispense with Li & Fung's services altogether, and instead deal with manufacturers directly.