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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
England shirt demand boosts Umbro
English fans in Germany wearing replica shirts
English fans have been more acquisitive than in 2004
Record demand for replica England football shirts has boosted sales at Umbro, the team's kit manufacturer.

The red away shirt bearing the Three Lions emblem has become the biggest selling England shirt ever as well as Umbro's highest-grossing shirt.

World Cup mania helped lift Umbro's total sales by 41% to 247m in the first half of the year, it said.

Umbro has also capitalised on womens' increased interest in the tournament, selling 150,000 England ladies' shirts.

Huge exposure

Umbro's association with the England football team has proved highly lucrative despite its disappointing performance on the pitch.

Sales are 26% higher than they were in the run-up to Euro 2004, the last major international tournament involving England.

"The World Cup has given the brand unparalleled exposure," Umbro chief executive Peter McGuigan said.

Separately, Umbro said it had signed a 15-year agreement to license and distribute its products in the US through leading US retailer Dick's Sporting Goods.

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