Footwear designer and marketer Steven Madden Ltd has posted a slip in fourth quarter net sales to $324.2m, compared to $326.1m in the same period a year prior.

However, the New York-based company recorded a 3.1 per cent rise in net income for the quarter to $20.5m, compared to $19.8m in fourth quarter 2002.

CEO Jamieson Karson said the company was "pleased" with its overall performance for the quarter and fiscal year.

"Importantly, we made significant progress in our efforts to position Steven Madden Ltd as a global lifestyle branded company," he said.

"Specifically, during the year we diversified and expanded the business by adding the Candie's and UNIONBAY brands and took steps to broaden our international reach by extending distribution to Europe.

"Moreover, we accomplished all this while protecting the core elements of our business."