By  on October 26, 2007

Columbia Sportswear Co. on Thursday posted third-quarter gains driven by double-digit growth in the Columbia brand outerwear.

For the period ended Sept. 30, income rose 3.8 percent to $62.6 million, or $1.72 a diluted share, from $60.3 million, or $1.67, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales increased 3.7 percent to $471.1 million from $454.1 million.

For the nine months, income jumped 16.7 percent to $98.7 million, or $2.70 a diluted share, from $84.6 million, or $2.30, a year ago. Sales gained 5.8 percent in the period to $979.3 million from $925.9 million.

"We are pleased to report that third-quarter sales were driven by double-digit growth in Columbia brand outerwear in the United States and Canada, reflecting the initiatives our management team has taken to strengthen our core North American Columbia brand outerwear business,'' Tim Boyle, Columbia's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Growth in the quarter was also driven by Columbia brand sportswear sales in the United States and increased sales in all major product categories in International Distributor markets."

Boyle said the growth in the Columbia brand was offset by significant, but expected, declines in Pacific Trail outerwear in the U.S. and outerwear and sportswear in Europe.

The company, which plans to open five new U.S. retail outlets this year and open as many as 15 outlet stores per year in the U.S. over the next few years, said it expects fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share of $1 and full-year diluted EPS of $3.70.

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