Warnaco Looks Ahead To Bright Future With Calvin Klein
NEW YORK — Retail consolidation took a toll on Warnaco Group Inc.’s first-quarter results, but the $1.5 billion apparel firm is banking on the growth of its Calvin Klein business to shore up its fiscal footing.

Joseph Gromek, chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call with analysts Tuesday that going forward Calvin Klein products would generate “more than 50 percent’’ of Warnaco’s revenue.

“As we look ahead, we believe our growth initiatives will bring greater diversity and strength to Warnaco,” Gromek said on the call. “To this point, with the addition of the acquired Calvin Klein businesses, we estimate that almost 40 percent of our annualized revenues will be generated from international businesses. This is the fastest-growing and most profitable segment of our company. ”

Warnaco said it was on track to deliver at least a 20 percent sales gain for 2006 as well as improved operating margins, because of the international Calvin Klein business it acquired from Florence-based Fingen this year for $240 million euros, about $291 million. The company said it anticipated continued strength in this business, which brought in $60 million in revenues and $6.1 million in operating income for February and March.

Sara Lee Apparel Reports Improvements
NEW YORK — Sara Lee Corp.’s branded apparel business leveraged an improved inventory position as well as expense controls to bolster operating income in its third quarter even as sales declined.

For the quarter ended April 1, the business segment, which is being spun off from Chicago-based Sara Lee sometime between June and September as Hanesbrands Inc., posted operating income that rose 28 percent to $110 million from $86 million in the same period last year. Sales for the quarter fell 3 percent to $1.04 billion.

The branded apparel business includes T-shirts, casual wear, active wear and inner wear.

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.