Leading sports apparel designer and manufacturer Russell Corp on Thursday revealed it was back in the black for the second quarter and posted a six per cent rise in sales from the year-ago period.

The Atlanta-based company posted net income of $6.7 million, or 20 cents per share, versus a loss of $6.1m, or 19 cents per share, last year when it was hurt by costs related to the early repayment of debt.

Net sales climbed to $267.9m from $253.1m with US sales up four per cent to $8.4m driven by the acquisitions of Spalding, Bike and Moving Comfort plus higher retail sales of Russell Athletic, Mossy Oak and Jerzees branded products.

That increase was partially offset by lower net sales in the Artwear/Careerwear channel, reflecting continued industry-wide lower prices, primarily in the promotional T-shirt market, and reduced corporate purchasing of higher priced products, such as sports shirts, denims and wovens.

It added international net sales rose 31 per cent, or $6.4m, reflecting strong sales growth and the positive effects of foreign currency translation.

"Given the challenging economic and retail environment, we are pleased to report earnings per share at the high-end of our forecast," said Jack Ward, chairman and CEO in a statement.

The company said it sees full year sales in the range of $1.25 billion to $1.28bn and continues to forecast earnings per share of $1.60 to $1.75.