By  on August 31, 2005

NEW YORK — Maidenform Brands Inc. on Tuesday narrowed its second-quarter loss on stronger sales, reflecting improvement in the company's operations.

For the three months ended July 2, the loss was $11.5 million, or 58 cents a diluted share, versus $12.1 million, or 78 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. The results in the year-ago quarter included May 11, 2004, through June 26, 2004, when the company was acquired by Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund, and the period beginning March 28, 2004, to May 10, 2004, when it was the predecessor firm. Excluding preferred stock dividends, net income was $2.6 million against a $10 million loss in the year-ago quarter.

Sales rose 8.9 percent to $102.3 million from $93.9 million. The company said wholesale sales rose 10.2 percent to $87.5 million, while retail sales at its outlets gained 2.1 percent to $14.8 million.

For the six months, the loss was $8.5 million, or 43 cents a diluted share, versus a loss of $8.8 million, or 54 cents, in the year-ago period. Sales gained 17.4 percent to $202.5 million from $172.5 million.

"Our operational and financial performance in the second quarter reflects the continuing strength of our diversified product portfolio across our multichannel distribution platform," said Thomas Ward, chief executive officer, in a statement.

With the closure of the firm's two manufacturing facilities, Ward added that the company completed its strategic repositioning as a marketer, rather than as a manufacturer.

The company went public on July 22, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MFB."

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