Third-quarter profits at sportswear giant Nike were up 19% thanks to a strong performance in its core US market.

Revenues in the company's third quarter rose 9% to US$3.6bn, while net income hit $325.8m, up 19% on the same period last year.

Revenue growth would have been even higher, but currency fluctuations, notably in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, reduced growth by three percentage points.

Nike president and chief executive Mark Parker said of the results: "The strength of our product pipeline, brand portfolio and global reach is enabling us to balance continued challenges in markets such as Western Europe and Japan with strong momentum in other key markets and regions.

"This, combined with our ability to manage expenses, enabled us to deliver on our long-term goal of sustainable, profitable growth."

Future orders scheduled for delivery in March-July 2006 total $5.4bn, up 2.9% on last year, the company added. Orders are up in the US, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, but down slightly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Third-quarter performance was strongest in the US, where revenues increased 14% to $1.4bn, Asia-Pacific, up 13% to $532.3m, and the Americas, up 41% to $203.1m. But revenues for Europe fell below the $1bn mark, down 5% to $980.1m.

Nike's other businesses, including Converse, Nike Golf and Nike Bauer Hockey among others, saw revenue growth of 17% to $454.5m.