LaCrosse Footwear Inc has posted a 29% rise in first quarter profit, as new business from the US military helped offset lower sales to the outdoor market.

In the three months to 29 March, net income was $0.8m or $0.12 per share, up from $0.6m or $0.10 per share in the same period last year.
Net sales for the quarter climbed 4% to $24.7m, from $23.7m last time.

Sales to the work market rose 16% to $17.9m, boosted by shipments to the US Marine Corps and the US Army.

This compensated for an 18% drop in sales to the outdoor market, which fell to $6.8m from $8.3m on unfavourable weather in Europe and the cautious US retail environment.

Gross margin was 40.7% of net sales, up from 40.6% in the same period of 2007.

Operating expenses were $9.0m or 36.3% of sales, compared to $8.8m or 37.1% of sales in last year's quarter.

"We are pleased with our execution and overall results for the first quarter, despite the challenging retail environment," said Joseph P Schneider, president and CEO.