Hampshire Group Ltd. posted a flat first-quarter loss as it shed its women’s wear assets and prepared to pursue a men’s wear business model.

 

For the three months ended April 2, the loss was $5 million, or 90 cents a diluted share, versus a year-ago loss of $5 million, also 90 cents. The company on May 6 sold its women’s businesses to LF USA, a division of Li & Fung, and reached an agreement to sell its Item Eyes unit to KBL Group. Both were reported in the current and prior quarters as discontinued operations. On a continuing operations basis, the company narrowed its loss to $3.7 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, from $4.5 million, or 81 cents, last year.

 

Sales for the continuing men’s wear operations rose 37.2 percent to $3.5 million from $2.6 million.

 

Heath Golden, president and chief executive officer, said, “With our now more sharply focused business model and an already strong balance sheet further strengthened by the proceeds from the sales of our women’s businesses, we are pleased to turn our attention to vigorous pursuit of opportunities that will drive long-term value for our shareholders.”

 

Golden has said previously that the firm is on the acquisition trail, with its war chest boosted by the sale of its discontinued operations.

 

The firm’s primary business now is in men’s sweaters, wovens and knits.

 

The firm last year acquired Scott James, a men’s specialty retailer and wholesaler. Hampshire also licenses the Geoffrey Beene, Dockers and Joe Joseph Abboud brands.

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