FTL FORECASTS OPERATING LOSS

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Bankrupt Fruit of the Loom Ltd. said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that, in spite of a gross earnings increase of 32.6 percent, it expects to file an operating loss for 2001.
The filing was in connection with FTL’s notice to the SEC that it wouldn’t be filing its Form 10-K, or annual report, in a timely manner. The company cited the “added burdens related” to the bankruptcy as well as changes in personnel as reasons for the delay in the completion of the financial statements.
FTL said it expects to file its annual report with the SEC in 15 days.
FTL said that gross earnings increased $42.4 million, or 32.6 percent, for the year ended Dec. 29, 2001, compared with 2000. The company last year narrowed its operating loss to $46 million, compared with an operating loss of $143.2 million in 2000. Sales fell by $518.4 million, or 22 percent, in 2001, compared with the year-ago period.
FTL, in bankruptcy proceedings since December 1999, filed a disclosure statement and plan of reorganization in March 2001. Amendments to the disclosure plan were filed on Dec. 28, 2001 and on Feb. 4, 2002. On March 22, the underwear manufacturer filed its third amendment to the disclosure statement and included a copy of its amended reorganization plan in the filing with the bankruptcy court in Delaware. The filing updates the information related to the sale of FTL’s operations to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway for $835 million.
Assets not included in the sale will be liquidated and disbursed among creditors on a pro rata basis. The March 22 filing with the bankruptcy court included certain modifications required by a Delaware bankruptcy court judge in connection with the amount to be paid to unsecured creditors. That amount includes an increase based on a settlement between the company and holders of its 8.875 percent notes. A hearing is set for April 19 to confirm the reorganization plan.

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