SWATCHES

ANOTHER POLY HIKE: Two major polyester makers last week announced they were kicking off a fifth round of increases on polyester prices, beginning in April.
KoSa on Wednesday said it plans to hike its prices on polyester staple and filament by 5 to 10 percent, effective with April 9 orders. In a statement, the Houston-based concern attributed the increase to “the need to attain profitability in the textile fibers business.”
On Friday, DuPont-Akra, the staple producer, said it would raise its prices by 6 to 9 percent, beginning with April 15 shipments. The company contended that while it has had several price increases over the past two years, it has still not been able to offset its rising raw-materials costs.
High prices on petroleum products — the ultimate raw material for most synthetic fibers — have taken a bite out of most fiber makers margins in recent years, and have led many companies to seek repeated increases in their selling prices.

DELTA EARNINGS WARNING: Delta Woodside Industries Inc. on Thursday warned that it expects to miss analysts’ earnings expectations for the second half of its fiscal year, which ends in June. The company said it expects to break even for the half.
The company blamed the expected shortfall in a slowdown in demand for bottom-weight fabrics.
“Downward adjustments by the apparel manufacturing sector of our industry have been significant and will have a negative impact on our running schedules through the March and June quarters,” president and chief executive officer Bill Garrett said in a statement. “Based on current conditions, we do not see any improvement through the June quarter.”
According to First Call, the Greenville, S.C.-based company had been expected to earn 9 cents a share in its third quarter and 16 cents a share in its fourth quarter. In the second half ended July 1, 2000, the mill reported net income of $1.02 a share, or $23.9 million on a net basis.
For the first half of its current fiscal year, Delta earned $3.8 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $122.9 million.