Leading outerwear and footwear firm, Columbia Sportswear Co, has posted a 17.2 per cent climb in second quarter net profit to $7.5 million compared to the year-ago period and a 2.2 per cent rise in sales to $124.2m

The Oregon-based company said US sales fell 1.3 per cent to $86.9m, Canadian sales dropped 8.9 per cent to $7.2m, European sales rose 9.6 per cent to $14.8m and other international sales (excluding European direct sales) jumped 25.4 per cent to $15.3m.

Sportswear sales were up 1.8 per cent to $60.7m and footwear sales soared 43.3 per cent to $17.2m, although outerwear sales slipped 8.5 per cent to $41m.

Columbia said it expects full-year net income growth "in the high single digit percentage range" and full-year revenue growth "near the high end of our previous guidance in the 2-4 per cent range."

President and CEO, Tim Boyle, commented: "We are gratified to report another solid quarter despite a less than optimal retail environment. Based on the brand's relative performance during the spring 2002 season and product improvements for the spring 2003 offering, we are currently optimistic about the opportunity to grow the spring 2003 business.

"Specifically, we continue to see strength in our women's business and we are beginning to see early signs of improvement in the men's category across many points of distribution in the US."

Separately on Thursday, the firm said its COO Don Santorufo will retire at the end of this year and be replaced by CFO Pat Anderson, with corporate controller Bryan Timm becoming its new CFO.