Delta Galil Looking to Grow Outside Innerwear

Hunt for acquisitions focused on global brands, ceo Isaac Dabah says.

Delta Galil Industries Ltd. will focus on acquisitions outside its principal business in innerwear in the aftermath of its accretive purchase last year of German underwear maker Schiesser AG.

Isaac Dabah, chief executive officer of Tel Aviv-based Delta Galil, told WWD, “We’re looking for opportunistic acquisitions in the global branded area and would consider venturing out of our current product categories into activewear or perhaps sportswear.”

The company made a run at the jeanswear brands of The Jones Group Inc. in late 2011 but failed to strike a deal and hasn’t been involved in the recent negotiations to sell Jones. G-III Apparel Group Ltd. is reported to be seeking Jones’ apparel assets, with Sycamore Partners focused on its footwear brands.

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After its talks with Jones ended, Delta Galil went on a bit of a spending spree in 2012, buying Schiesser for 68 million euros, or $85 million, in July, a month after acquiring KN Karen Neuburger from CIT for about $4 million. The company added girls’ hosiery specialist LittleMissMatched in December for undisclosed terms.

The company isn’t constrained by its balance sheet. Equity rose 18 percent to $305.7 million during the third quarter, completed on Sept. 30, with cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash rising to $86.9 million from $13.8 million a year ago.

The quarter was the first in which Schiesser’s results were included in year-ago numbers. The German unit’s sales grew 14.7 percent to $55.5 million, while its operating income grew 14.5 percent to $7.1 million. With its branded orientation and involvement in retail, Schiesser’s operating margin of 12.8 percent of sales was the highest among the company’s four operating groups, which include its U.S., Israeli and upper-market businesses.

The Schiesser contribution helped lift corporate sales and margins, as well as the European and branded components of Delta Galil’s business as a whole.

In the three months, net income was $12.7 million, or 50 cents a diluted share, 38.2 percent below the prior-year mark of $20.2 million, or 82 cents. Eliminating the $12.2 million benefit derived from adjustments from the Schiesser acquisition in the year-ago quarter and other onetime items, net income rose 42.6 percent to $14.2 million, or 56 cents, from $10 million, or 41 cents.

Revenues grew 9.9 percent to $257.2 million from $234 million, with gross margin up 310 basis points to 27.4 percent of sales.

Dabah reported Schiesser’s 70-plus stores — principally in Germany but also in Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands — registered a single-digit same-store sales increase in the quarter.

“There have been no disappointments with this acquisition,” Dabah said.

The company raised its full-year guidance for the second time in as many quarters, now projecting sales of between $965 million and $975 million versus its previous estimate of sales of between $940 million and $950 million. Sales last year were $817.8 million. Net income excluding nonrecurring items is expected to hit between $1.71 and $1.75 a share as compared with the prior forecast of $1.59 to $1.67. Adjusted earnings per share last year was $1.37.

For the nine months, net income including onetime items fell 34.7 percent to $28.2 million, or $1.11 a diluted share, as sales expanded 25.8 percent to $718.8 million.