CUTTING HOSIERY LOSS: Hampshire Group Ltd. cited greatly reduced losses in its hosiery business along with robust sweater sales, as it reported a sharply improved bottom line for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Income available to common shareholders came to $3.8 million, or $1.07 a share, against a loss of $4.6 million a year ago.
The latest quarter included an $818,000 gain from reversal of a 1993 hosiery-division restructuring charge. The year-ago quarter included a $6 million restructuring charge for the hosiery operations. Sales for the Anderson, S.C.-based manufacturer grew 5.2 percent to $27.6 million from $26.3 million.
In the year ended Dec. 31, Hampshire earnings available to common shareholders came to $6.4 million, or $1.80 a share, against a loss of $5.7 million a year ago. Earnings in the latest year included the restructuring reversal, while the year-ago loss included a $7.5 million restructuring charge. After a $1.3 million accounting gain, the year-ago loss was reduced to $4.4 million. Sales for the year slid 11 percent to $83.6 million from $93.8 million.
Ludwig Kuttner, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Income from operations in the sweater segment of the business rose 14 percent in 1994, even after having posted a record year in 1993.”
And the firm is pushing ahead in the sweater market. Last month, Hampshire acquired Babette & Partners Ltd., New York, manufacturer of better cotton sweaters, with annual sales of $8 million, and Segue Ltd., importer of women’s upper moderate and better-price sweaters with offices in New York and Hong Kong and sales of $10 million.