Protective shoe and rainwear producer LaCrosse Footwear Inc on Monday posted a huge 148 per cent jump in third quarter profit from the year-ago period on the back of better margins and lower costs.

The Oregon-based firm, whose brands include LaCrosse, Danner and Rainfair, reported consolidated net income the quarter ended September of $2.1 million, or 36 cents per share, versus $0.9m, or 15 cents, last year.

Consolidated net sales rose to $29.9m from $29.2m while gross margins improved to 31.4 per cent from 30.5 per cent and operating expenses fell to $7m from $7.6m last year.

"We're encouraged to see sales growth for the Company, which is being driven by innovative new products in the retail channel and the management team's continued focus on sales growth," said president and CEO Joseph Schneider.

"Coupled with higher gross margins and lower costs generated from consolidating our operations, our net income is growing as well.

"We are also encouraged by dealer responses to the new Spring 2004 line of LaCrosse Quad Comfort work boots, and the new line of Danner Agitator outdoor products."