Australian fashion retailer RCG Corporation has lifted its net profit for the 2010 financial year, on the back of the exceptional sales performance at The Athlete’s Foot network.

The Athlete’s Foot opened eight new stores during the 2010 financial year, all of which are on the new, larger footprint format. In addition, seven existing stores were converted to the larger format, taking its total number of large format stores to 16 at the end of the financial year, the company said.

Chairman of RCG Corporation, Ivan Hammerschlag, said: “We are delighted with the performance of The Athlete’s Foot. The business continues to deliver consistently outstanding results, in contrast to the significant volatility being experienced by the wider retail sector. It is worth noting that like-for-likes in both halves of the financial year exceeded 8%, higher than many other retailers.

“We also continue to be very pleased with the performance of our new larger format stores. This format has now become the standard presentation for all new stores and we are working hard to convert existing stores to the new format as quickly possible.”

Shoe Superstore (SSS) RCG acquired Shoe Superstore on 1 September 2009.

RCG also commenced its distribution of the Merrell brand of outdoor, comfort, active lifestyle, performance footwear and apparel on 1 January 2010.

Hammerschlag said: “We continue to be very excited about the Merrell business and the opportunities it presents. The seamless transition of the business to RCG is a testament to the robustness of our planning and the quality of our infrastructure.”

Merrell owner Wolverine World Wide has since granted it two other distribution licences – sandal brand Chaco and surf brand Cushe.