Apparel manufacturer Haggar Corp on Wednesday posted a sharp jump in fourth quarter net profit on the back of double-digit sales growth.

The Texas-based company, which makes men's casual and dress apparel and women's sportswear, said net income climbed to $3.5 million from $2.7m in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the quarter soared 10.3 per cent to $133.2m from $120.8m in 2001, while for fiscal 2002 net sales rose 8.4 per cent to $481m and core earnings rose 21.2 per cent to $6.3m from $5.2m.

Haggar added that said it now sees a 10 to 15 per cent climb in fiscal 2003 earnings per share but warned of a first quarter loss due to higher advertising costs and the impact of the recent dockers' strike.

Chairman and CEO, M Haggar III, stated: "We are excited about our sales increase of 10 per cent for our fourth quarter and an eight per cent increase in net sales for the full year.

"Our growth initiatives are working excellently, particularly our new Haggar comfort fit waist pant, which has been outpacing our expectations at retail. Pricing pressures continue to impact our gross margins, however we remain committed to our strategy to grow market share."