By  on November 17, 2005

NEW YORK — Despite higher sales, Maidenform Brands Inc. posted third-quarter profits that declined on preferred stock dividends.

For the three months ended Oct. 1, the company reported net income that fell 13.2 percent to $401,000, or 2 cents a diluted share, from $462,000, or 2 cents, in the same year-ago period. Excluding preferred stock dividends and changes in redemption value, net income gained 26.1 percent to $2.1 million from $1.7 million.

Sales for the period climbed 11.2 percent to $100.1 million from $90.1 million. Wholesale sales rose by 13.9 percent to $83.6 million, which included an 8.7 percent jump in the department stores and national chain stores segment and a 28 percent increase in the mass merchant channel. Sales to specialty and off-price retailers grew by 22.3 percent, while international sales in the quarter grew by 62.3 percent. In the retail segment, sales dipped by 0.6 percent compared with a year ago, although same-store sales rose 7.6 percent. Maidenform operated 77 outlet stores at the end of the third quarter versus 88 last year.

Maidenform was acquired by Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund in May 2004, and then went public in July 2005.

In the nine months, the loss was $8.1 million, or 39 cents, compared with a loss of $4.2 million, or 31 cents, by the predecessor company from Dec. 28, 2003 through May 10, 2004, and a loss of $4.1 million, or 21 cents, by the successor company from May 11 through Sept. 15, 2004, for the year-ago periods. Sales were $302.6 million, versus $122.4 million for the predecessor company and $140.1 million for the successor firm.

"We successfully launched several new and innovative products in the third quarter, as we have been doing all year. These included the Maidenform Dream Bra, a Flexees Firm Control Collection and a Lillyette Embroidered Minimizer. We are particularly pleased with the launch of our new Dream Bra and its initial marketplace success, which provides an excellent foundation for product extensions in the Dream Collection for the spring of 2006," said Thomas J. Ward, chief executive officer of Maidenform, in a statement.

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