After three difficult years, sales at French fashion brand Lacoste attained record levels in 2011, reaching EUR1.6bn (US$2.1bn), an increase of 11% on the previous year.

CEO Christophe Chenut underlined that the performance was the best in Lacoste's history, surpassing the previous sales record of EUR1.56bn set in 2007.

One factor driving growth was the continued success of the "young, urban and trendy" Lacoste Live line launched in 2010. The number of Lacoste Live outlets totalled 40 at the end of 2011 and are expected to rise to 100 by the end of the current year.

Last year, clothing accounted for 60% of Lacoste's sales followed by footwear (17%). Its biggest market was the US, repesenting 15% of sales, ahead of France (9%) and Italy and China (both 6%).

Last month, Lacoste's worldwide licence holder, Devanlay unveiled plans to hire more than 200 production staff in France as part of the brand's relaunch.