Boardwear company Quiksilver posted a better than expected underlying profit of US$41.6m in the fourth quarter, boosted by double-digit sales growth in the Americas.

The profit figure - which excludes a $55.4m charge associated with the revised outlook for the business in Asia Pacific - was slightly down on last year's profit of $43.9m.

However, it beat analysts' expectations, partly thanks to an unexpected tax benefit of $4.6m.

Fourth quarter revenues were up 3% to $606.9m, bringing full-year revenues up 11% to $2.26bn.

Full-year profit was $120.9m excluding the charge, compared to $116.7m for fiscal 2007.

Net revenues in the Americas were up 10% in the fourth quarter to $306.9m, but sales in Europe fell 4% to $216.3m. Asia Pacific revenues lifted 2% to $82.6m.

Chairman, president and CEO Robert B McKnight Jr said he was "proud" of the efforts of the company, bearing in mind the worsening economic situation.

"As economic conditions continue to worsen in our key markets in the US and in Europe, we've continued our efforts to reduce expenses and capital expenditures, to carefully control inventory and to reconfigure our post-Rossignol capital structure," he added.

The company completed the sale of its Rossignol ski brand to Chartreuse & Mont Blanc last month, allowing it to focus on its core boardwear business through the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC brands.