Net income per diluted share at clothing and footwear maker Rocky Shoes & Boots Inc increased 27 per cent to $0.98 for the third quarter of 2004, from $0.77 a year ago.

Net sales increased 21 per cent to $50.1 million for the three months ended 30 September 2004, from $41.4m in the same period of 2003.

The company said on Thursday that this hike includes $5.1m of boots produced for the US military, as well as increases in branded sales led by rugged outdoor and occupational footwear and Rock apparel.

Gross profit rose 22 per cent to $16.0m, compared to $13.1m in 2003. Gross profit margin rose to 32.0 per cent of net sales for the third quarter from 31.6 per cent of net sales a year ago.

Net sales for the nine month period increased 29 per cent to $99.4m from $77.0m last year.

Gross profit for the year-to-date was 29.6 per cent of net sales compared to 30.3 per cent of net sales last year.

Net income per diluted share increased 48 per cent to $1.30 for the nine months ended 30 September 2004 from $0.88 in the year-before period.