Shoe retailer Brantano on Thursday posted a 30 per cent rise in operating profit as it managed to keep costs under control amid rising sales.

The Belgian firm said earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 30.2 per cent to €20.7 million euros from €15.9 million in 2003.

But full-year net profit fell 44 per cent to €3.2 million from €5.7 million a year earlier due to exceptional charges from store sales and write-downs.

Revenues rose 6.2 per cent to €322.6 million euros.

Brantano expects operating profit to rise 10 per cent this year, and is forecasting an annual turnover of €310-315 million.

Chief executive Kurt Moons said Brantano plans to open 20 stores a year in the United Kingdom over the coming years, adding to the 137 shops it already has in this market.