Liz Claiborne Inc said today that it expects fourth quarter 2000 sales to rise by around 11 per cent, resulting in an approximate 10 - 11 per cent sales increase for the full year.

The company also expects to achieve fourth quarter and full-year 2000 EPS of around 14 - 15 per cent increase for the year. All EPS figures refer to diluted earnings per share before restructuring charges and special investment gains. The company also announced it will record a pretax restructuring charge of approximately $15-17m in the fourth quarter to cover the mostly cash costs associated with staff reductions, real estate consolidations and asset writedowns.

The company also affirmed today its full year 2001 guidance of a 5 - 7 per cent sales increase and its expectations for an 11 - 13 per cent increase in EPS. The company repurchased approximately 1.1 million shares of its stock for $44m during the fourth quarter.

Paul R. Charron, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "This performance validates our multi-brand, multi-channel diversification strategy as we have more than offset profit pressures in the department store channel with profitable growth elsewhere in our portfolio, including in the new businesses added in the past two years, aggressive expense reductions, and the employment of new processes and technology."

The company also announced that Richard F. Zannino, executive vice president, has resigned effective January 26 to pursue an opportunity outside of the apparel sector.

Commenting on this announcement, Mr. Charron said: "We anticipate the seamless transition of Rich Zannino's responsibilities. For the time being, I will directly supervise a very talented finance team, led by Michael Scarpa, vice president and chief financial officer."