Black Diamond Inc., the marketer of the Black Diamond and Gregory brands, expects an increase in sales of 6 percent to more than $36 million for the fourth quarter of its past fiscal and calendar year. The estimates are preliminary and unaudited.

For the whole year, consolidated sales are higher than $145 million, or 16 percent up from pro forma sales of $125 million in 2010. Black Diamond says that the growth was supported by the introduction of innovative products and the consistent sales and marketing of existing products.

The gross margin is expected to be at 39.0 percent for the fourth quarter compared with 38.2 percent in the previous year's period. The improvement comes mainly from an adjusted mix toward products with a higher margin. For the full year, Black Diamond estimates the gross margin at 38.6 percent, more or less in line with the 2010 results.

Thanks to the improved gross margin, the company believes that earnings increased as well. Despite the higher earnings, tax savings of $3 million are expected thanks to net operating loss carryforwards that were set to expire in 2011.

For 2012, Black Diamond plans to reach sales between $160 million and $165 million. This estimate does not include possible acquisitions the company is open to, or new product categories. Black Diamond intends to launch its first line of apparel by fall 2013.