Apparel manufacturer Perry Ellis International Inc on Wednesday announced better-than-expected second quarter results as lower costs and improved margins helped its net profit climb six per cent year-on-year.

The Florida-based company posted net income of $2.2 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.5m, or 23 cents per share, in 2001.

Those earnings were reduced by 10 cents a share due to the recent acquisition of the Jantzen swimwear business. Its year-ago earnings would have been nine cents a share if adjusted for new accounting rules.

Net sales fell 3.9 per cent to $56.4m from $58.7m but royalty income climbed 10.9 per cent to $7.6 million and unit shipments rose 3.4 per cent to 6.1 million units.

"Despite a challenging retail environment, our ability to successfully execute our strategies enabled us to achieve improved results for the second quarter," said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and COO.

"Our strong performance was driven by a continuing shift in the mix of our business to the mid-tier department stores and department store channels, the successful introduction of our Perry Ellis America young-men's jeans line and the continued strength of our licensing division."

The company markets products in more than 40 different categories under the Perry Ellis, Perry Ellis Portfolio and Perry Ellis America trademarks. It also produces and distributes other trademarks including, Jantzen, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger.