Athletic apparel and footwear giant Reebok International Ltd has posted fourth quarter profit of $28.1 million, up from $16.5m in the same period 12 months ago.

The Massachusetts-based company, which attributed the increase to continued growth of its US footwear and licensed apparel businesses, also reported an 11 per cent year-on-year increase in net sales to $844m for the quarter.

According to CEO Paul Fireman, the improved fourth quarter results capped off "a solid year" for Reebok.

"We achieved our sales and earnings targets despite the generally weak economic conditions for most of the year in many of our key markets around the world," he said.

"This marks the fourth consecutive year of earnings improvement since we embarked on our long-term strategic plan to re-energise the Reebok brand."

Reebok is the second largest athletic footwear producer in the United States in terms of sales, with Nike Inc leading the market.