GREENSBORO, S.C. -- Boosted by a strong performance from wrinkle-resistant fabrics, Galey & Lord reported second-quarter earnings rose 31.8 percent to $4.6 million, or 38 cents a share, from $3.5 million, or 29 cents, a year ago. In the quarter ended April 2, sales were up 8.8 percent, to $111.5 million, from $102.4 million. Sales in wovens, including wrinkle-resistant cotton fabrics, were up 13.4 percent, the company said. Man-made-fiber fabrics sales increased 6.2 percent, while printed fabrics sales dropped 21 percent, partially offsetting other gains. Arthur Wiener, chairman and chief executive officer, said the printed fabrics unit continues to underperform and is not expected to improve through the balance of this selling season.

The company continues to restructure distribution channels and manufacturing operations for the unit. Although ahead of last year, results of the man-made fabrics division were lower than expected due to the overall poor performance of the printed fabrics market, Wiener said.

In the six months, earnings after a $1.6 million accounting charge declined 3.3 percent to $7.3 million, or 60 cents, from $7.5 million, or 63 cents. Sales increased 12.5 percent to $210.6 million from $187.1 million. Woven fabric sales were up 15.9 percent, and man-made fabric sales jumped 26.1 percent. These gains were partially offset by a 15.3 percent drop in printed fabrics sales. Unfilled orders at the half were up 16 percent to $101 million from $87 million, and the company said it continues to have a positive outlook for the current quarter.

On March 31, Galey & Lord signed a definitive agreement with Burlington Industries to acquire its decorative fabrics business for about $64.7 million in cash. The deal should close on or around April 30. Galey noted the acquisition will give it a base in the home fashions market and should make an immediate contribution to earnings per share.

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