Shirt manufacturer Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation has posted better-than-expected third-quarter results boosted by growth in its Calvin Klein business.

The company, whose brands include Van Heusen, Bass, Calvin Klein, and IZOD, reported third-quarter net income of $26.7 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared with last year's $17.0m, or $0.34 per diluted share.

Like-for-like profit during the three-month period rose to $30.6m, or $0.59 per diluted common share, which was $0.09 or 18 per cent ahead of the company's previous earnings guidance.

The improvement in third-quarter like-for-like net income was mainly attributable to earnings increases in the company's two business segments.

Operating earnings for the apparel and related products segment increased 30 per cent over the prior year, due to the consistent strong performance of the company's wholesale apparel business and improvements within the retail outlet business.

The Calvin Klein Licensing divisions saw a 40 per cent increase in operating earnings from the prior year due to growth of new and existing licensees.

Total revenues in the third quarter rose 4 per cent to $473.5m from $453.6m in 2003. Excluding exited businesses, revenues increased 9 per cent over the prior year.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings in the range of 10 cents to 11 cents a share, including restructuring charges.