Shirtmaker Olymp said it is "steadily approaching" its goal of overcoming market competition as it reported an 11.6% rise in first-half turnover.

Turnover for the first six months of the year was EUR40.3m (US$51.32m), Olymp said, compared to EUR36.1m last year.

The result followed a 16% increase in full-year 2005 turnover to EUR74.2m.

Olymp CEO Mark Bezner said: "We will support the specialist trade as our most important sales channel, not only through specific advertising and marketing measures, but also through other concrete services, so that our partners can stand their ground in the difficult clothing market.

"As a result of the cyclical downturn in specialised businesses of the textile retail trade, however, new sales opportunities will have to be developed in future as a matter of urgency."

The company said it would open new Olymp shops in the cities of Hamburg and Karlsruhe, in addition to the existing sales outlets in Bochum, Munich, Augsburg and Regensburg.

"Olymp Bezner remains committed to Germany as a business location", Bezner said.