Sportswear maker Umbro has reported a 5.4% growth in yearly profit and said it expects a good boost from the football World Cup this year.

Full-year profit before tax and exceptionals was GBP23m (US$40m)  compared to GBP21.8m in 2004. Earnings before interest and tax was GBP24.5m compared to GBP24.2m last year.

Total wholesale equivalent sales were GBP351.9m - a 1.2% reduction on
2004.

Umbro, which has been launched two fashion ranges to brighten the brand's profile. said it was in "excellent financial health" and looked set to be debt-free by the middle of this year.

Chief executive Peter McGuigan said: "This is an excellent set of numbers for Umbro; we have again delivered record results and concluded landmark negotiations domestically with the Football Association and internationally in China.

"The brand continues to strengthen worldwide and we see excellent growth opportunities in the fast-growing markets of China and Russia and in the medium term in the US which is not yet performing to its true potential."

McGuigan added:  "We are implementing a clear strategy to both reinforce our core business in football performance products and expand the brand through new products lines, such as U by Umbro, Three Lions and design collaborations.

"With the World Cup this summer, 2006 promises to be another exciting year for the company and we are confident of increasing shareholder value."