Men's clothing group Phillips-Van Heusen Corp has beaten fourth-quarter profit predictions after seeing a growth in sportswear sales, and has also reported strong full-year results.

2004 fourth-quarter net income  totalled $17.3 million compared with a loss of $14.4m in the same quarter of 2003. Earnings minus restructuring expenses and tax benefit would have totalled $14.8m.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 16 per cent to $413.8m from $356.4m last year.

The company said fourth-quarter growth was driven by higher sportswear sales, especially within the Izod, Arrow and Calvin Klein divisions.

The wholesale dress shirt unit as well as the Calvin Klein licensing business also contributed significantly to revenue, the company reported.

For the full 2004 year, the company's profit was $58.6m, compared with a 2003 loss of $5.3m. Minus preferred dividends, the company would have earned $70.7m after preferred dividends.

Full-year revenue grew 5 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.57bn last year.

Bruce Klatsky, chairman and chief executive officer, said that each of the company's units exceeded plan, and that all of its brands and products had been appropriately positioned in their market channels.

Klatsky added that the Van Heusen had seen a "sharp earnings increase" due to growth within existing licensees and growth strategies undertaken "to expand the breadth and reach of Calvin Klein product offerings".

The launch of the Calvin Klein better men's sportswear line as well as the limited rollout of Calvin Klein retail outlet stores in premium outlet malls was also said to have exceeded plans throughout the year.

Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation design and markets branded dress shirts, sportswear and footwear under own brands Van Heusen, GH Bass & Co, Bass, IZOD, Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein, ck and ck Calvin Klein, as well as  its licensed brands: Arrow, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction by Kenneth Cole, BCBG Max Azria and Michael Kors.