Apparel, accessories and footwear retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc has posted a 30 per cent increase in third quarter profit.

The company said net income rose to $31.9 million, or $43m per basic share, compared to $24.5m, or $32m per basic share, for the third quarter of 2003.

Total third-quarter sales were $329.1m - a 17.0 per cent increase over total sales of $281.3m for the comparable 2003 quarter.

The company said same-store sales for the third quarter rose 6.6 per cent, with PacSun same-store sales increasing by 6.8 per cent and d.e.m.o same-store sales increasing by 4.8 per cent.

Gross margin for the third quarter totalled $118.9m, compared to $100.6m in 2003

Net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2004 was $66.2m, or $.87 per share, basic, an increase of 44 per cent over net income of $45.9m, or $.60 per share, basic, for the first nine months of fiscal 2003.

Total sales for the nine months of fiscal 2004 were $849.0m, an increase of 18.9 per cent over total sales of $714.0m for the nine months of fiscal 2003.

Company same-store sales increased 8.4 per cent for the first nine months of fiscal 2004 with PacSun same-store sales up 8.8 per cent and d.e.m.o. same-store sales up 4.7 per cent.

Gross margin for the first nine months totalled $297.3m, compared to $244.3m in tbe year-before period.