ANDERSON, S.C. -- Reflecting the costs of consolidating its slumping hosiery business, Hampshire Group Ltd. posted losses in the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31. After a $6 million charge for the hosiery consolidation, the firm reported a loss of $4.6 million in the quarter. A year ago, Hampshire earned $1.4 million, or 43 cents a share.

Sales in the quarter slid 14.3 percent, to $26.3 million from $30.7 million. For the year, a $7.5 million restructuring reserve charge for the hosiery operation was partially offset by a $1.3 million gain from accounting changes, but the company posted a loss of $4.4 million. In 1992, the company earned $2.8 million, or 94 cents a share. Sales fell 2.3 percent, to $93.8 million from $96.1 million.

In the year, sweater sales at the company's Hampshire Designers operation rose over 17 percent, the company said, but sales at Hampshire Hosiery dropped 19 percent.

Income from sweater operations climbed 49 percent, to $8.5 million. This was more than offset by a loss of $10.5 million from hosiery operations, including the $7.5 million charge.

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