Casual apparel maker Columbia Sportswear Co reported on Tuesday a nearly 30-per cent increase in net income, but warned that earnings growth next year will likely slow to a rate in the high single digits. The Portland Oregon-based company said net sales for the quarter were $305.6 million, an increase of 23.6 per cent over $247.3 million in the same period of last year. Net income increased 29.8 per cent to $49.6 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, from $38.2 million, or 96 cents, for the same period of last year. EPS comparisons reflect the June, 3 for 2 split of the company’s stock. Wall Street analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.06 per share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Columbia Sportswear said it expects year-over-year revenue growth of 28-31 per cent and net income growth of 40-50 per cent. For the first quarter of 2002, the company projected revenue growth of up to 2 per cent, and a decline in net income in the 15-30 per cent range. Citing a lower-than-expected backlog in spring orders, Columbia Sportswear said it believes that revenue and earnings growth above high single digit percentages will be difficult to achieve for the full year 2002 compared to 2001.