Golf lifestyle company Ashworth has suffered a fourth-quarter loss caused by increased selling and administrative expenses.

Consolidated net loss for the year ended 31 October totalled US$0.7m compared to income of $8.2m last year. Full-year net revenue was up 18.3% to $204.8m compared to $173.1m for financial 2004.

Net revenue for the domestic segment increased 19.0% to $171.9m, while international revenue grew 14.6% to $32.9m from $28.7m last year.

Net loss for the fourth quarter ended 31 October was $2.2m compared to income of $1.9m last year. Fourth-quarter revenue increased 14.5% to $55.3mcompared to $48.3m in the same quarter last year.

Ashworth's realigned management took aggressive steps in the fourth quarter to address issues encountered earlier in the year, the company said.

This included significantly reducing domestic inventory to a level lower than a year ago, implementing a new merchandising strategy of offering more key items and less fashion merchandise, and improving the operating efficiency of the company's US embroidery and distribution centre.

The company also said it experienced full-price sales growth in four of its seven distribution channels including its international golf channel, its corporate distribution channel, The Game brand headwear lines and its company-owned outlet stores.

2005 also marked Ashworth's first full year of operations with its new Gekko acquisition, which has proven to be accretive to earnings.

Additionally, the company's Spring/Summer 2006 forward orders for both the Ashworth and Callaway Golf apparel brands have increased over last year, both in the US and Europe.