Leading US corporate identity apparel programs and facility services supplier, G&K Services Inc, on Tuesday reported fourth quarter earnings per diluted share of 47 cents - up 20.5 per cent from the year-ago period.

The Minneapolis-based company, which serves more than 140,000 customers, said that climb
includes 3-4 cents per share benefit from elimination of goodwill amortisation expense, while  revenue climbed 1.9 per cent to $158.1 million.

It added earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2002 were $1.85, up 12.1 per cent compared to $1.65 in fiscal 2001. Revenue for the year rose 3.7 per cent to $625.9m from $603.6m in the previous financial year.

Chairman Richard Fink stated: "G&K posted record revenue and net income for fiscal 2002, a challenging year of higher unemployment levels and overall weak economic conditions.

"Fiscal 2002 marks the company's 100th year of business, an accomplishment that represents the importance we place on our customers and employees."

He added: "Looking into the next century, we are pleased with the strategic position of the company and the growth prospects of our industry providing businesses with brand-building solutions, professional employee apparel and facility services."

For fiscal 2003, G&K said it sees revenue in the range of $645m-$655m expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.00 to $2.10 per share.