Athletic shoe maker Saucony Inc on Tuesday said its third quarter profit increased 59 per cent, driven by growth in its domestic mid-priced cross-over, originals and technical running footwear categories coupled with strong international sales. 

Net income increased to $3.4 million, compared to $2.2 million in the third quarter of 2003 the Peabody, Mass-based company reported.

For the three months ended 1 October 2004, net sales climbed 32 per cent to $42.3 million, from to $32.0 million in the same period last year.

Domestic net sales were up 38 per cent from $22.6 million to $31.3 million, boosted by increased footwear and Hind apparel sales.

Internationally, net sales were up 17 per cent to $11.0 million, from $9.4 million last time. Saucony brand footwear and apparel accounted for around 81 per cent of total third quarter net sales.

For the nine months to 1 October, net income increased 53 per cent to $10.7 million, from $7.0 million in the comparable period of 2003. Net sales increased 26 per cent, to $133.2 million in the nine months, compared to $105.5 million in the comparable period of 2003.

The company said it expects fourth quarter net sales to range from $33 million to $34 million. Full year sales are likely to range from $166 million to $167 million.