Footwear group Deckers Outdoor has enjoyed a 40 per cent leap in third-quarter profit but anticipates lower-than-predicted fourth-quarter results.

Third-quarter earnings jumped 40.0 per cent to $8.2 million compared with $5.8m last year, on a 24 per cent sales rise to $69.2m from $55.8m a year ago.

Net earnings for the nine months ended 30 September grew 21.3 per cent, while nine-month net sales rose 23.6 per cent.

President and chief executive officer Angel Martinez said the UGG shoe range - which saw demand rocket in 2004 as UGGs became 'the' boots of the moment - had seen "robust sales" as consumers responded well to autumn and holiday lines.

Martinez continued: "We were particularly pleased with the initial launch of our new fashion collection, driven by our Uptown and Cargo boots, and our expanded casual offerings, which are helping us to further diversify our UGG product line and attract new customers."

Third-quarter sales of the Teva brand fell 18.4 per cent to $9.7m compared with $11.9m a year ago, due to lower domestic closeout sales and lower international sales compared to last year.

UGG sales increased 46.2 per cent to $57.3m for the third quarter compared to $39.2m for the same period last year, driven by strong sales across the board.

Simple sales decreased 54.4 per cent to $2.1m for the third quarter compared to $4.6m for the same period last year, as the third quarter of 2004 included about $2.7m of sales of the Simple sheep offering, a program which the Company discontinued in late 2004.

Martinez said the company was adapting a more conservative outlook concerning the fourth quarter, and now expected net sales for the quarter to range from between $72m and $75 and earnings-per-share to be between $0.60 and $0.64.

Deckers expects 2005 net sales to range from between $246m and $249m and earnings-per-share to be between $2.13 and $2.17.

The company, which said it currently anticipates 2006 sales to be between $255m and $265m and earnings-per-share to be between $2.00 and $2.15, said it would improve its current operating platform to enhance support for its long-term expansion plan.

Strategies include investments in marketing and advertising, development of international and retail infrastructures, and investment in product development and design.