Footwear and accessories maker Coach Inc today posted a 46 per cent growth in fourth-quarter net sales to $338 million. The company also boosted its guidance for fiscal 2005.

In the fourth quarter, net income rose 120 per cent to $66 million, compared with $30 million in the prior year. Sales for the quarter rose to $338.1 million from $231.5 million a year ago.

Direct to consumer sales, which consist primarily of sales at Coach stores, rose 39 per cent to $195 million during the fourth quarter from $140 million last time.

Indirect sales increased 57 per cent to $144 million in the fourth quarter from the $92 million reported for the prior year. Strong gains were reported from Coach Japan, International wholesale, US department stores and business-to-business.

For the fiscal year 2004, Coach said net sales were $1.3 billion, up 39 per cent from the $953 million recorded in fiscal year 2003.

Full year net income rose to $262 million, up 79 per cent from the $147 million earned in the prior year.

Coach now expects fiscal 2005 earnings of at least $1.68 a share, while operating income is expected to rise at least 23%. The company also estimates sales of least least $1.6 billion.