Athletic retailer Foot Locker Inc has posted 21 per cent rise in fourth quarter net income on a same-store sales increase and a better operating profit margin.

2004 fourth quarter net income totalled $89 million versus $71m in the same period of 2003 the company said.

Fourth quarter sales rose 15.1 per cent to $1.535m from $1.334m in 2003, while same-store sales increased 2.5 per cent.

Foot Locker's chairman and chief executive officer Matthew Serra said the earnings growth was "above the high end" of its initial guidance range.

Full year net income rose 35 per cent to $293m from $207m in 2003.

Full year sales rose 12.1 per cent to $5.36m compared with $4.78m last year, while same-store sales increased 0.9 per cent.

Foot Locker operates nearly 4,000 specialty stores as well as Champs Sports division and Eastbay, a catalogue retailer of athletic equipment and apparel.