After two consecutive years of declines, L.L. Bean finished 2010 with a 5.7 percent increase in sales, indicating that customers are feeling better about spending, the outdoors and clothing retailer said Monday.

Revenue for the privately held Freeport-based company came in at $1.44 billion for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 27, said President and CEO Chris McCormick. The year before, revenue was $1.37 billion.

Sales haven’t yet reached their pre-recession levels, but the performance was enough to warrant a 5 percent bonus for all 5,000 year-round L.L. Bean employees, said spokeswoman Carolyn Beem.

Online sales, which surpassed catalog sales for the first time in 2009, grew 29 percent from 2009 to 2010, and demand for made-in-Maine Bean boots grew 57 percent, the company said. Bean also launched its Signature line, aimed at luring younger customers. Other highlights included the opening of 33 stores in China.

The positive sales figures posted by L.L. Bean track with growing confidence among U.S. shoppers. A variety of retailers reported surprisingly strong revenue gains last month.

“There’s a bit of growing consumer confidence,” Beem said. “It’s been all over the place for the past year, and still the economy struggles. However, we were seeing some good indicators that customers were feeling better.”

For Bean, it was good news after declines of 6.6 percent in 2009 and 7.8 percent the year before. In 2010, sales were strong across the board. In particular, customers were keen on buying outdoor gear like canoes, kayaks, bicycles and camping equipment, the company said.

Bean has 62 stores in China, as well as 19 in Japan, which was rocked by last week’s earthquake. Five Bean stores in Japan suffered minor earthquake damage, and all employees have been accounted for, Beem said.

The Japanese stores account for 5 percent of Bean’s revenue.