American Apparel Inc.’s third-quarter losses narrowed as sales rose and gross margins improved.

This story first appeared in the November 8, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Net losses shrank to $7.2 million, or 7 cents a share, from $9.5 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Sales for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose 4.8 percent to $140.9 million from $134.5 million. Gross margins increased to 53.2 percent of sales from 52.2 as retail prices rose and the company increased efficiency in the area of manufacturing labor.

Comparable sales increased 3 percent for the quarter, with a 2 percent rise in its retail sales and an 11 percent jump in online sales.

“In the month of October, we saw strong sales in the U.S., Asia, Australia and Europe markets,” said Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer. “For the year, we have also seen record sales in our online channel. With the combination of improving sales, a reduction in raw material prices and continued efficiency in our manufacturing processes, we believe the prospect is favorable for further improvement in our fourth-quarter and fiscal 2012 financial performance.”

American Apparel has 247 stores in 20 countries.

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