Austrian luxury goods maker Wolford AG said its full-year net profit increased by 83.9% to EUR6.4m (US$8.8m), helped by US and UK sales and a strengthened position in the luxury goods sector.

The company said its growth was helped by its new ready-to-wear product lines and current fashion trends for leggings and capris.

Wolford's operating profit for the year to 30 April was EUR7.7m, EUR0.3m higher than in the prior year. The company said that excluding a prior-year one-off effect, operating profit was EUR3.0m, up 63.7% year-on-year.

Sales rose by EUR20.3m or 16.7% to EUR141.7m for the fiscal year, with fourth quarter revenue up 18.7% from the year-earlier quarter. Wolford delivered double-digit sales growth in almost all markets, strategic distribution channels and product groups, the company said.

Wolford's stock price grew 80.5% in the 2006/07 fiscal year, outperforming the ATX by 68.2% during the period.

"With Wolford's highest-ever absolute growth in sales and a definite improvement in net profit for the year, we have not only resoundingly confirmed the lasting turnaround, but also significantly expanded our strong position in the luxury goods market," said Holger Dahmen, CEO of Wolford AG. 

Wolford also announced that Italian design firm Valentino will collaborate with the company beginning with the autumn/winter 2007/08 season.

"After three years of hard work and an extensive programme of measures implemented in all business areas, Wolford today stands for the finest quality, comfort and aesthetics and is superbly positioned as an international luxury brand in the once again growing global fashion market," added Dahmen.

In its outlook, the company said that advance orders for its autumnwinter 2007/08 collection were significantly higher than in the corresponding period of last year, and that its management was optimistic about growing sales to at least EUR150m in the next year, helped by expansion in Asia and Australia.