Athletic footwear producer K-Swiss Inc on Thursday posted a 1.3 per cent rise in third net earnings to $8.1 million from $8m in the year-ago period and said it sees a strong start to the new fiscal year.

The California-based company said it enjoyed earnings per share of 42 cents and added total worldwide revenues rose 19.7 per cent to $81.1m, with domestic revenues up 16.4 per cent to $68.6m and international revenues up 42.3 per cent to $12.4m.

It added it sees fourth quarter revenues of $50m-$52m and full-year revenues of around $287m with earnings per share in the range of $1.44-$1.46.

Chairman and president Steven Nichols commented: "Heading into the third quarter, we had some early signals that our results could be slightly better than we were anticipating.

"The significant amount of at-once business in the quarter as well as the success of our Classics-oriented marketing campaign, however, led to sales and earnings results well above those revised expectations.

"We are also pleased with the improvement in international sales and backlog, which was primarily the result of solid increases in both Europe and Asia."

He concluded: "Based upon the current backlog, early indications point to a solid fourth quarter and a strong start to 2003."