Fashion accessories company Tandy Brands Accessories Inc said on Wednesday it swung to a profit a fourth quarter profit as a wide range of products led to strong sales to mass merchants.

The Texas-based firm, which makes items ranging from belts, handbags and suspenders to socks and scarves, said it made $322,000 compared with a year-ago loss of $831,000, when bad-debt expense rose.

It added sales for the quarter were flat at $44.4 million and it had managed to cut inventory levels and boost gross margins, while for the full-year to June 30, net sales climbed to $205.8m from $195.8m, with net profit up to $6.3m from $4.4m in 2001.

President and CEO, J Jenkins, commented: "We are very proud of Tandy Brands' excellent performance throughout fiscal 2002. In each quarter, we achieved improved results despite a very difficult retail environment.

"Through consistent performance, as well as the development of a strong customer base and product mix, we were able to meet the company's financial goals for 2002."

He added: "We are especially pleased that both our men's business and our women's accessories turned in a solid performance in the fourth quarter. Sales to mass merchants were particularly strong, as they have been throughout the year."