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SEEING LESS RED: Higher sales and lower relative costs allowed Delta Woodside Industries Inc. to narrow its loss in the third quarter. For the three months ended March 29, the Greenville, S.C.-based textile maker posted a net loss of $1.1 million, or 19 cents a diluted share. That compares with last year’s greater loss of $2.5 million, or 42 cents. Pretax impairment and restructuring charges of $398,000 contributed to the loss, which was partially offset by a 137 basis point decline in selling, general and administrative costs. Sales for the period increased 12.9 percent to $46.5 million from $41.2 million a year ago. “The soft retail sales and weak consumer spending we experienced in the second quarter continued into our third quarter causing our operating schedules to suffer, especially in the early part of the quarter,” said chief executive officer W.F. Garrett in a statement. Overall, for the first nine months, the firm swung back into the black by recording profits of $615,000, or 10 cents, versus last year’s loss of $12.9 million, or $2.21. Last year’s loss was due primarily to pretax restructuring and impairment charges of $8.5 million. Sales for the period increased 5.1 percent to $128.5 million from $122.3 million a year ago. In a separate matter, the firm has appointed Patrick Danahy, the former ceo of Cone Mills Corp. and former president of American Textile Manufacturers Institute, to its board of directors.

This story first appeared in the April 24, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

SQUEEZED MARGINS: Shrinking gross margins and higher costs led Delta Apparel Inc.’s profits to retreat in the third quarter despite a sales gain. For the three months ended March 29, the Duluth, Ga.-based knitwear manufacturer said net income decreased 20.9 percent to $1.5 million, or 35 cents a diluted share. By comparison, last year the company had profits of $1.9 million, or 43 cents. Sales for the quarter grew 3.1 percent to $33.9 million from $32.9 million a year ago. Delta said a 10.4 percent rise in volume was partially offset by a 6.6 percent fall in average selling price due to promotions on basic adult short-sleeved shirts and white cotton T-shirts. Higher distribution costs and lower selling prices also contributed to a 203-basis-point drop in gross margin, which helped account for the lower earnings. Overall, for the first nine months of the year, Delta’s net income soared 69.2 percent to $4.4 million, or $1.05, versus $2.6 million, or 55 cents, a year ago. Sales for the period increased 5.2 percent to $92.8 million from $88.2 million last year.

PROFITS SKINNED: Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.’s first-quarter profits dipped 0.8 percent to $12.8 million from $12.9 million a year ago. Earnings per share stayed put at 16 cents. Revenues for the three months ended March 31 inched up 1.6 percent to $219.6 million from $216.1 million. Excluding the impact of foreign currency translation, sales fell 4 percent. While sales were weaker than anticipated, chief executive Steven Lund, in a statement, noted, “Expanded retail operations in China during the quarter attracted the attention of many distributor leaders from around the world. Distributor activity away from home markets negatively impacted first-quarter revenue, but this investment energy should positively affect future results as our China business continues to grow.”