RUSSELL CORP. POSTS GAINS IN NET, SALES
NEW YORK — Rebounding activewear sales helped Russell Corp. post increases in sales and earnings for both the fourth quarter and year.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, the Atlanta-based apparel company reported net income of $11 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, more than eight times the prior-year mark of $1.4 million, or 4 cents. Excluding restructuring, asset impairment and other extraordinary charges in both periods, net income would have increased 6.2 percent, to $22.8 million, or 71 cents a diluted share, versus $21.5 million, or 65 cents.
Quarterly sales rose 7.4 percent, to $326.2 million from $303.7 million in the prior-year period.
Jack Ward, chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement: “Sales in the activewear segment, our core business and largest segment, have been particularly strong, up more than 10 percent for the fourth quarter and the year.”
Russell’s single-largest brand, Jerzees, continued to build market share, ending the year with a 34.6 percent share of the fleece business in the artwear market and a 17.3 percent share of the men’s fleece business in the retail channel. Russell Athletic and Cross Creek also increased market share, he said.
Ward said Russell expects its international segment to return to profitability in the current year.
Net income for the year rose 73 percent, to $14.5 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, from $8.4 million, or 25 cents. Without special charges, net income would have hit $62.1 million, or $1.90 a diluted share, 12.8 percent above the 1999 level of $55 million, or $1.62.
Sales for the year rose 6.6 percent, to $1.22 billion from $1.14 billion.