Apparel giant Liz Claiborne Inc's "multi-brand, multi-channel, multi-geography diversification strategy" has boosted its fourth-quarter performance, the company said Wednesday.

Earnings per share were up 13.6 per cent to $0.75 for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared to EPS of $0.66 in the same quarter in 2003.

Fourth-quarter net sales increased 16.1 per cent to a record $1.198 billion.

Full-year EPS rose 11 per cent to $2.85 in 2004, while net sales increased 9.2 per cent to a record $4.633bn.

Paul Charron, chairman and chief executive officer, said the good results were a result of the company's "balanced and diversified portfolio."

He added that the implementation of its "multi-brand, multi-channel, multi-geography diversification strategy" led to higher-than-expected sales and the upper end of its EPS expectations, despite a challenging trading environment.

The company in January purchased women and children's apparel maker C&C California for $28m. Liz Claiborne expects the transaction to add 3 cents to fiscal 2005 earnings per share.