Clothing maker and retailer Liz Claiborne Inc today posted a 14 per cent increase in third-quarter profit, boosted by its acquisition of ENYCE and significant contributions from brands like Juicy Couture and DKNY Jeans.

The company said its earnings for the quarter ended 2 October rose to $111.6 million, or $1.03 per share, from $97.9 million, or 89 cents a share, a year earlier.

Net sales for the period rose 11.3 per cent to $1.31 billion from $1.17 billion.

The acquisition of ENYCE in December 2003 added about $34 million in net sales during the quarter, the company said. The strength of the euro added another $24 million.

Paul R Charron, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We more than offset planned declines in our Liz Claiborne business with increases in other brands throughout our portfolio."

Its domestic Liz Claiborne business dropped 17 per cent.

Looking forward, the company expects fourth quarter sales to grow by 9-11 per cent and EPS in the range of $0.71-$0.74.

For the full year it is confident that sales will increase 7.5-8 per cent and EPS in the range of $2.81-$2.84.

For fiscal 2005, the company foresees a sales increase of 6-8 per cent, and earnings per share in the range of $3.05-$3.12.