NEW YORK -- Fueled by mammoth sales gains, Cygne Designs Inc.'s profits rose sharply in the second quarter and six months ended July 30.

In the quarter, the private label apparel firm earned $1.96 million, up from $739,000 a year earlier. Earnings per share increased to 17 cents from 14 cents, reflecting increased shares outstanding resulting from an August 1993 initial public offering and a June 1994 secondary offering, as well as shares used to acquire Fenn Wright & Manson in April 1994.

Quarter sales jumped 155 percent to $119.6 million from $46.9 million, partly reflecting $33.2 million in sales from Fenn Wright. Excluding Fenn Wright, Cygne's core sales grew 84 percent.

In the half, earnings rose to $3.62 million, or 35 cents a share, from $1.52 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier. Sales doubled to $198.8 million from $96.6 million. Excluding $41.1 million in sales from Fenn Wright, sales climbed 63.2 percent.

Bernard M. Manuel, chairman and chief executive officer, said the results were helped by the successful integration into the corporation of Fenn Wright, a private label manufacturer specializing in casual sportswear.

Roy E. Green, chief financial officer, said the company has substantially increased sales to Casual Corner, a division of U.S. Shoe Corp., and said it has become "very solid" business for the firm.

Cygne also does private label for American Eagle Outfitters, and the Fenn Wright acquisition added the Lane Bryant, Lerner and Structure divisions of the Limited, and several department store chains.

This month, as reported, Cygne plans to acquire GJM International Ltd., a private label intimate apparel manufacturer based in Hong Kong, adding Victoria's Secret Stores, British Home Stores and J.C. Penney Co. to its stable of customers.

In over-the-counter trading Thursday, Cygne's stock, despite the figures, closed at 26, down 3/4.

-- Fairchild News Service

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