Skechers USA Inc, a global leader in lifestyle footwear, today said net sales for the fiscal year ended 31 December 2001 reached $960.4 million, a 42.3 per cent increase compared to net sales of $675.0 million in 2000.

Net earnings for 2001 rose 8.0 per cent to $47.3 million versus net earnings of $43.8 million in 2000.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2001 rose 24.4 per cent to $214.1 million compared to $172.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. Net earnings for the quarter were $2.0 million versus net earnings of $9.7 million in the comparable period of 2000.

Gross profit in 2001 rose 42.9 per cent to $406.2 million, or 42.3 per cent of sales, compared to $284.2 million, or 42.1 per cent of sales in 2000. Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2001 increased 14.2 per cent to $85.1 million compared to $74.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, stated: "As we begin the 2002-year, our priorities are to enhance shareholder value by directing our resources to the areas of our business that offer the most growth and profit potential and to continue our efforts to build cost and operational efficiencies into our organisation.

"Our long-term plans remain unchanged - to capitalise on our top brand status by continuing to capture an increased share of the global footwear market, which is estimated at more than $43 billion."