American Apparel Inc. on Monday reported a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a loss in the year-ago period.

This story first appeared in the March 18, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, earnings reached $3 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.5 million, or 3 cents. Sales for the quarter soared 48.1 percent to $111.2 million from $75.1 million, and same-store sales surged 40 percent.

Full-year earnings for the Los Angeles-based maker of slim-fit Ts and other basics were $15.5 million, or 31 cents a diluted share, versus a loss of $1.6 million, or 3 cents, last year. Sales shot up 35.8 percent to $387 million from $285 million.

“So far 2008 is shaping up to be a very strong year for American Apparel, as well,” said Dov Charney, chairman and chief executive officer. “In the past few weeks we opened our first store in Australia, in Melbourne, and our first store in Belgium, in Antwerp. With fresh capital invested in the business, and a growing pipeline of signed leases, we intend to develop American Apparel into a preeminent, global retail brand.”

The company, which also plans to open three stores in China next month to coincide with the Beijing Summer Olympics, expects full-year earnings in the range of 32 cents to 36 cents a diluted share.