Forty-five Japanese fashion firms have posted a combined income of JPY125.87 billion for financial 2004, representing the highest profit since comparable data was available back in 1993, according to survey results released by Teikoku Databank Ltd.

The companies - which deal with overseas fashion brands - included businesses dealing with upscale brands, which fared comparatively badly last year, and casual brand companies, which reported strong performances.

Top of the pile for the 12th year in a row was LVJ Group KK, which deals with the Louis Vuitton brand.

Second-best performer Hermes Japon Co reported lower income than last year.

Casual clothing brands Gap Japan KK, Nike Japan Corp. and Adidas Japan KK all said that income increased from 2003.