By  on August 8, 2007

Intimate apparel maker Maidenform Brands Inc. on Tuesday said second-quarter profits inched up a notch as sales gained 1.6 percent.

For the three months ended June 30, income was $9.5 million, or 39 cents a diluted share, from $9.4 million, or 39 cents, in the same year-ago quarter. Sales for the quarter rose to $119 million from $117.1 million.

For the six-month period, earnings jumped 28.1 percent to $20.1 million, or 83 cents a diluted share, from $15.7 million, or 65 cents, last year. Sales increased 3.8 percent to $226.2 million from $218 million.

During the quarter the company implemented initiatives to strengthen its position for long-term success, said Thomas J. Ward, chief executive officer, in a statement. Among the initiatives was a focus on Maidenform's branded business, which led to low double-digit net sales growth in the company's branded wholesale business.

The company said the third quarter will be a transition period as "Maidenform drives its branded sales from private label sales."

Maidenform expects full-year earnings to increase 15 to 18 percent.

In separate news, the company's board increased Maidenform's stock repurchase program by an additional $12.6 million, giving the company the ability to repurchase up to $25 million of common stock.

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