By  on February 4, 2008

Hanesbrands Inc. topped off a difficult year with a strong fourth quarter led by its Champion brand, which has posted double-digit sales growth for three consecutive years.In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, income jumped 109.3 percent to $49.8 million, or 52 cents a share, from $23.8 million, or 25 cents, in the same year-ago period. Sales rose 2.4 percent to $1.16 billion from $1.13 billion.For the year, income fell 39.4 percent to $126.1 million, or $1.30 a diluted share, from $208 million, or $2.16, a year earlier. Sales gained 1.6 percent to $4.47 billion from $4.40 billion.The company said its Hanes, Champion and Bali brand sales rose for the fourth quarter and full year."We capped a successful first year, in which we exceeded our financial goals, with solid performance in the fourth quarter in a tough consumer climate," said Richard A. Noll, chief executive officer.Noll pointed out that one of the company's key strategies is to invest in its largest and strongest brands, and that the strategy seems to be delivering results.

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