Casual and sports apparel maker Quiksilver Inc is to buy out its licensees in Japan and Australia in a move calculated to give worldwide control over its brands, products, distribution and advertising.

The $93 million deal with Ug Manufacturing in Australia and Quiksilver Japan, is due to be completed by December 1.

Quiksilver in September reported a 12 per cent increase in third quarter net sales to $173.9m, and is thriving on the popularity of sports such as surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding at which its Roxy, Raisins and Hawk Designs brands are aimed.

The company, which earlier consolidated its European operations and brands, says it now plans to grow its business in Japanese, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

It has also raised its 2003 earnings forecast to between $1.75 and $1.79 a share from $1.71 on the back of its licensee buy-outs, and increased its revenue expectation from $770m to between $840m and $860m.