VAN NUYS, Calif. -- Authentic Fitness Corp. reported earnings jumped 42.7 percent in its third quarter ended April 2, while sales gained 45.3 percent.

Net profit in the three months came to $4.2 million, or 20 cents a share, against $3 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier. Per-share results reflect a 23 percent increase in average shares outstanding resulting from a December secondary offering.

Sales rose to $53.3 million from $36.7 million, with $14 million coming from the Anne Cole, Cole of California, Catalina, and Oscar de la Renta swimwear brandsacquired last fall.

Linda J. Wachner, chairman and chief executive officer, said the acquired swimwear brands "had an outstanding quarter, while our Speedo and White Stag skiwear divisions continued to provide very strong sales and earnings."

She said Speedo Authentic Fitness retail stores continue to receive a "very strong" consumer response and are performing above expectations. The company has 12 stores in operation and expects to open 12 more in the next three months. Wachner said Authentic Fitness is on plan to reach 100 stores by 1995.

In the nine months, Authentic Fitness's earnings before non-recurring and extraordinary items increased 22.4 percent to $8.9 million, or 46 cents a share, from $7.2 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier.

After charges of $3.6 million for executive bonuses related to the Cole/Catalina acquisition and $1.6 million related to its initial public offering, net earnings in the latest nine months were $3.6 million, or 19 cents a share.

Authentic Fitness stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed Wednesday at 15, up 1/4.

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