Apparel manufacturer Kellwood Co on Tuesday reported a sharp rise in third quarter net profit as sluggish sales were offset by improved inventories. The St Louis-based company posted a net profit of $21.1 million, or 82 cents per share, versus $13.9m, or 61 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Before costs for business and facilities realignments, net earnings were $23.3 million, or 90 cents per share.