Footwear manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide saw fourth-quarter net profit slip as the company invested in marketing initiatives over the period.

Fourth-quarter net income fell 10.27% to US$23m, despite the company booking 5.6% revenue growth to reach $406.5m. Operating expenses increased by 6.8% to US$119.2m. Gross margin decreased 20 basis points to 36.9%.

Full-year net income was up 18% to reach US$123.29m. Revenue rose 12.9% to $1.4bn, which it attributed to double digit growth from each of its branded operating groups. Gross margin was flat at 39.5%.

"Our portfolio of strong, global lifestyle brands combined to deliver another year of record performance," said Blake W. Krueger, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"Each of our three branded operating groups and our direct-to-consumer business contributed to the year's outstanding results. Additionally, all major international regions reported double-digit revenue growth, as our newly created International Group focused on the significant opportunities outside of North America. Our distributor and licensee business, which markets our brands in nearly 190 countries, also had an exceptional year, with revenue up nearly 40%. We are very proud of the record performance in 2011 and are excited about the global momentum of our brands, our continued geographic expansion and the impressive product innovations we have planned for 2012."