Outdoor shoe company LaCrosse has reported reduced sales and earnings for 2005, but claimed it was "excited" about opportunities for growth in 2006.

Full-year net sales totalled US$99.4m compared to $105.5m in 2004, as net income slipped to $5.2m from $7.0m the year before.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, LaCrosse reported consolidated net sales of $29.7m, up 4% from $28.7m in the fourth quarter of 2004. Fourth-quarter net income was $2.0m compared to $7.0m last year.

Outdoor sales grew 9% during the financial year, reflecting the company's introduction of innovative products and continued penetration into the hunting boot market.

Work wear sales fell to $50.4m from $60.7m a year ago.

LaCrosse chief executive Joseph Schneider said: "We are pleased with our sales and earnings performance in our core work and outdoor business for the fourth quarter and the year.

"During the quarter, we continued to increase our brand equity and capture market share in both the work and outdoor footwear markets. Throughout 2005, we made good progress in leveraging our investment in innovative boot technology, introducing a broader selection of more compelling, high-performance footwear and extending our powerful brands into new product categories.

"We also strengthened our sales and marketing efforts and significantly enhanced our customer service and overall operating efficiencies."

Schneider said the company was encouraged by customers' interest in new spring and autumn product lines.

He continued: "Going forward, we plan to continue to focus on the fundamentals of our business: extending our strong brands across a broader premium-quality product offering; infusing innovative technology across multiple product categories; increasing brand equity through intensified marketing in specialised work and outdoor markets; strengthening our nationwide and international distribution channels."