WOLFORD RESULTS UP: Restructuring initiatives paid off for Wolford AG as the company swung back to reporting full-year profits.

For the fiscal year ended April 30, the Bregenz, Austria-based hosiery maker reported net income of $2.8 million, or 58 cents a diluted share. That compares with last year’s loss of $5.2 million, or $1.09. Sales fell 6.4 percent to $144.6 million from $154.5 million a year ago.

Dollars have been converted from euros at current exchange. The company reported net income of 2.5 million euros versus a loss of 4.6 million euros on sales of 128.8 million euros, down from 137.6 million euros last year.

Wolford said nearly one-third of the sales decline was caused by exchange rate fluctuations, as the U.S dollar, in which 14.2 percent of the company’s revenues are billed, fell 23.6 percent against the euro. The British pound and the Swiss franc also declined, Wolford said, by 12.8 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Looking ahead, with its restructuring now complete and greater efficiencies in place, the company said it will take only moderate sales growth to achieve large profit gains, but improvements in macroeconomic conditions and consumer confidence are still critical to the firm’s success.

IN THE RUNNING: New Balance Athletic Shoe has signed a license agreement with Newton, N.C.-based Moretz Sports to manufacture, market and distribute performance socks under its label.

The collection comprises approximately 50 styles, including no-shows, low-cut and crew socks, using such trademark performance fibers as Coolmax and Duraspun. The New Balance sock collection specifically targets such activities as running, hiking, walking, cross-training, tennis and basketball.

There is also a specific women’s line, which offers functional socks with color accents in stripes; heel and toe treatments, and embroidered logos. The collection also will include an infant and youth program.

“In youth girls, we have duplicated some of the women’s collection so that the daughter can have socks just like her mom,” said Paul Del Monico, Moretz’s president of brand development.

Retail prices are exected to range from $4 to $10 for single pairs. Del Monico declined to give sales projections for the line. Starting in January, the socks will be distributed to sporting goods stores, family shoe chains and department stores.

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