By  on September 23, 2013

Gildan Activewear Inc. said Monday it will invest more than $200 million during fiscal 2014 and 2015 for the construction and ramp-up of two additional yarn-spinning facilities in the southern U.S.

Gildan said it was evaluating potential sites for the factories that will support its projected sales growth and be “built with the most modern product technology” and enhance its position as a low-cost, quality manufacturer of branded products. This investment will be made in addition to commitments made in November 2012 for a new ring-spun yarn-manufacturing facility in Salisbury, N.C., and the refurbishment and modernization of the company’s open-end facilities in Clarkton, N.C., and Cedartown, Ga.

The Montreal-based company’s total investment in U.S. yarn-spinning facilities, including the two new facilities, is expected to create more than 700 jobs and further solidify the “important domestic U.S. component of its vertically integrated manufacturing.” Gildan’s investment in U.S. manufacturing comes at a time when textile firms from Unifi Inc. to Cone Mills are expanding their capacity as some brands bring back production from Asia to the Western Hemisphere. This includes increased or new apparel-manufacturing activity in the U.S., as well as Central America, where U.S. materials are used in production that benefits from duty-free trade preference programs such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Columbia Free Trade Agreement.

Gildan said it will be in a position to provide further details of its capital-investment program for fiscal 2014, including its plans for further expansion of its vertical textile-manufacturing operations, when it releases results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 later this fall.

Gildan makes and markets branded basic apparel, including T-shirts, fleece, sport shirts, socks and underwear. The company sells its products under a diversified portfolio of proprietary brands, including Gildan, Gold Toe and Anvil, as well as under license agreements for Under Armour and New Balance. It distributes its products in printwear markets in the U.S. and Canada, and is increasing its penetration in international printwear markets. The company is also one of the largest suppliers of branded athletic, casual and dress socks in the U.S. It is also developing Gildan as a consumer brand for underwear and activewear.

Gildan owns and operates vertically integrated, large-scale manufacturing facilities in Central America and the Caribbean basin. It has more than 33,000 employees worldwide. In the third quarter ended June 30, Gildan’s net earnings before restructuring and acquisition-related costs were up 45 percent to $116.5 million, compared with $80.2 million in the third quarter of last year. Net sales in the quarter were up 2.3 percent to $614.3 million.

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