An absence of charges and better margins aided American Apparel Inc. in improving third quarter profits as sales slipped.


The Los Angeles-based basics maker and retailer on Tuesday reported a 78.3 percent gain in net income for the three months ended Sept. 30. The company’s profits in the period totaled $4.2 million, or 5 cents a diluted share, versus $2.3 million, or 3 cents a share, in 2008.


The year-ago figure contained merger-related expenses of 13 cents a share. On average, analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected earnings per share of 3 cents.


Sales in the quarter fell 2.9 percent to $150.3 million from $154.8 million a year ago.


The company said its gross margin grew to 58.1 percent from 49.1 percent in the comparable period.


For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s WWD.

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