Stride Rite Corp. has reported a 6.1 percent increase in net income to $11.9 million for the 2nd quarter, despite a drop in the gross margin to 38.5 percent from 39.5 percent in the year-ago period. Revenues grew by 7.0 percent to $165.0 million, with sales outside the USA up 26 percent mainly due to progress in Asia and Latin America. The Stride Rite Children’s Group raised sales by 9.0 percent, including a 7.8 percent increase for its growing retail operations on a same-store basis. Among the wholesale brands, the Tommy Hilfiger license was up 19 percent and Sperry Top-Sider grew by 6.0 percent, but Keds declined by 3.0 percent. Sperry’s new high-priced Gold Cup line, which includes some styles in crocodile leather, has gotten off to a nice start. Meanwhile, Stride Rite has licensed Damon Dash, the American hi-hop mogul who runs Rocawear clothing and publishes Roc-a-fella records, to sell its Pro-Keds brand of footwear.