Sportswear designer and soccer kit manufacturer Umbro Plc on Wednesday signed a formal distribution agreement with Foot Locker Inc to sell its apparel, equipment and footwear.

The agreement formalises an existing trading relationship between the two companies over the past year.

Chief executive officer of Umbro, Peter McGuigan said: "We are delighted to be working with Foot Locker to provide a new and exciting range of soccer-related products and we are optimistic about our prospects for the Umbro brand in the US for 2005 and beyond."

Speciality athletic retailer Foot Locker operates around 3,900 stores in 17 countries throughout North America, Europe and Australia.

Umbro's football-related products are sold in over 90 countries.The company reported a 15 per cent increase in first-half profit, with turnover up from £68 million to £94m.