Sports shoe producer Saucony Inc on Thursday announced it anticipates its third quarter earnings to be far better than expected due to the success of domestic technical footwear business.

The Massachusetts-based company said in a short news release now expects earnings of 22 cents to 24 cents a share, up from previous guidance of nine cents to 12 cents. The firm earned six cents a share in 2001.

Saucony, whose brands include Hind and Spot-bilt, also said it now sees quarterly sales of $33.5 million, compared to its previous outlook of $26m to $28m, and higher than its sales of $31.5m in 2001.

President and CEO, John Fisher, stated: "We are very pleased with our preliminary third quarter results, particularly given the ongoing challenges in the domestic retail environment.

"Our ability to significantly exceed our previously announced guidance was primarily driven by our Saucony domestic technical footwear business, where we experienced an increased level of at once sales combined with reduced levels of cancellations."