Reebok International Ltd on Wednesday posted a 74 per cent jump in second quarter net profit as it reaped the rewards of more advertising and greater shelf space.

The world’s second largest sports shoe producer said net income soared to $24.6 million, or 39 cents per share, from $14.1m, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago period, with net sales up one per cent at $717.4m.

For the Reebok brand, worldwide sales rose two per cent to $585m, while in the US, sales of the Reebok brand climbed six per cent to $334m, but sales at its Rockport subsidiary slipped three per cent to $95m from $98m in 2001.

In a statement, Reebok said its gross margin was 38.6 per cent, an improvement of 190 basis points when compared with the gross margin of 36.7 per cent, and said it sees overall worldwide sales growth in the "mid to high single digit range".

Company chairman and CEO, Paul Fireman, stated: "I am very pleased with the continued improvement in our Reebok brand US open order position and in particular with our new sports licensing business.

"Our US footwear backlog comparisons have now been positive for 10 consecutive quarters. And, most importantly, our open orders for US footwear have grown in all of our primary channels of distribution. Internationally, our backlog comparisons are being affected by a generally weak European retail climate."

He added: "I am pleased that we are on plan to achieve our earnings goals for the year. Our improved gross margins are allowing us to invest in brand building activities that are designed to drive improved brand awareness, create excitement at retail and position Reebok for improved sales performance next year."