L.L. Bean said sales rose 4% to $1.47 billion last year.

The Freeport, Maine, catalog apparel retailer said it would pay workers an 8% bonus for the year ended Feb. 26.

"The repercussions of major world events such as Hurricane Katrina and their role in rising energy costs and consumer confidence in general created a lot of uncertainty for all retailers," CEO Chris McCormick said. "In response to these conditions we implemented marketing contingencies that included an unconditional free shipping promotion in November and December. While very risky and rather costly, it turned out to be a risk worth taking."