The Japanese unit of jeans giant Levi Strauss expects pretax profit to increase by 12 per cent in the 2005 financial year.

It is forecasting profit of JPY3.78 billion, and a 4 per cent growth in sales to JPY29.65bn for the 12-month period.

For the year to 30 November 2004, the company posted a group pretax profit  increase of 32 per cent to JPY3.36bn.

Performance was boosted by strong sales of new women's merchandise as well as strategies to slash expenditure.