OPERATING NET UP 52.5 PERCENT AT G&L APPAREL FABRICS UNIT

GREENSBORO, N.C.--Galey & Lord reported fourth-quarter operating profit in its apparel fabrics division rose 52.5 percent to $9 million from $5.9 million a year earlier.
Gains were driven by wrinkle-resistant cottons. Apparel fabric sales in the quarter ended Oct. 1 grew 7.8 percent to $103.8 million from $96.3 million. Sales included an 8.9 percent hike in wovens and a 13.3 percent jump in man-made fiber fabrics, partially offset by a 6.4 percent slide in prints.
Overall, earnings rose 76.5 percent to $5 million, or 41 cents a share, from $2.8 million, or 24 cents. This outpaced Wall Street's estimate of 37 cents a share, sending Galey & Lord shares up 1 3/4 to close at 16 3/4 Thursday in over-the-counter trading.
Total sales rose 24.4 percent to $119.8 million from $96.3 million. The gain included $16 million from the April acquisition of the decorative home print business of Burlington Industries.
In the year, operating income for apparel fabrics grew 28 percent to $35.7 million from $27.9 million; sales rose 10 percent to $424.2 million from $385.8 million. A 13.1 percent sales gain in woven fabrics and a 17.7 percent hike in synthetic fabrics combined to offset a 20.1 percent drop in prints.
Total earnings rose 40.8 percent, before an accounting charge, to $18.9 million, or $1.56 a share, from $13.4 million, or $1.12. The latest year included a $1.6 million charge for an accounting change that reduced net to $17.3 million, or $1.43 a share. Sales rose 16.9 percent to $451.1 million, including $26.9 million from home fashions. Arthur Wiener, chairman, said overall backlog remains strong, with open orders ahead 11.4 percent to $98 million, excluding home fashion fabrics.
--Fairchild News Service

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