TIMBERLAND 4TH-QUARTER RESULTS SHOW ROBUST GAINS IN SALES, NET

STRATHAM, N.H. — Timberland Co., which has been coming back from a difficult 1995, when it was mired in distribution problems and excess inventory, capped 1996 with a strong fourth quarter.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, the firm reported record fourth-quarter earnings of $11.4 million, or 99 cents a share, against year-ago profits of only $759,000, or 7 cents.
Sales for the quarter surged 25.8 percent to $221.1 million from $175.8 million.
For the year, the company earned $20.4 million, or $1.81, compared with a year-earlier loss of $11.6 million, which included two nonrecurring items, a pretax charge of $16 million and a pretax gain of $12.1 million.
Sales for the maker of outdoor footwear, apparel and accessories gained 5 percent to $690 million from $655.1 million.

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