Despite fears of a dive after the September 11 terrorist attack, surfwear sales in the United States have been riding high.

Speaking at an ABN Amro Morgans' breakfast in Brisbane today, Billabong chief executive officer Matthew Perrin said that consumers were not afraid to spend on extreme sports goods.

He said Pacific Sunwear, the company's largest US retail account, recorded stronger sales after the terrorist blitz than in the preceding weeks.

In its September results, Pacific Sunwear posted a sales growth of 11 per cent on the previous year.

"The massive dent to American pride in the immediate aftermath of the attack had seen expectations plummet dramatically for a few days, prompting forecasts of a serious downturn, which did not eventuate, noted Matthew Perrin. "Our industry has demonstrated clearly over the past 10 years that through the ups and downs of all sorts of economic situations, sales keeps building.

"Even at times of great uncertainty kids still want to go out. They still want to have fun. They still want to buy new clothes. They still want to go surfing. They still want to go skateboarding and snowboarding."


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