Sewing machine manufacturer Singer NV on Tuesday reported a 290 per cent surge in third quarter net income to $3.9 million from $1m last year on flat sales of $98.7m.

The company attributed the strong growth to a solid performance by its sewing marketing and manufacturing operations, particularly US marketing and the Brazil factory, and to growth in its retail operations in Sri Lanka.

President and CEO Stephen Goodman said: "We are pleased by our continued profitability in the third quarter of 2002, representing the eighth, consecutive, profitable quarter since the conclusion of Singer's successful Chapter 11 Reorganisation in September 2000, but we are disappointed by the failure to grow revenue and income in several important markets.

"To meet the challenges of economic weakness in many of the markets in which the company operates, and of global, excess capacity, resulting in heightened competition, Singer intends to push forward with its on-going strategic initiatives.

"These include new products, additional promotion and enhanced distribution, both in the retail and sewing segments."

He added: "We continue to have confidence that the consistent execution of Singer's recovery plan and successful restructuring of the balance sheet will result in continued and improving profitability."