FTL LOSSES NARROW IN QUARTER

NEW YORK — Fruit of the Loom reported slimmer first-quarter operating losses and said it was “well-positioned” to emerge from bankruptcy.
Net loss for the quarter narrowed to $46.7 million, or 70 cents a share, compared to $81.8 million, or $1.22, a year ago. Losses from discontinued sports and licensing operations in the year-ago period totaled $2.6 million, or 4 cents a share.
On an operating basis, losses narrowed to $9.5 million from $48 million in the year-ago quarter. The loss included $6.7 million in consolidation costs related to the closure of its Jacksonville, Ala., yarn mill.
Sales for the period ended March 31 declined 16.1 percent, to $314.6 million from $374.9 million a year ago. The Chicago-based firm attributed the decline to the discontinuation of noncore product lines and the sale of the Gitano jeans business.
Sales of activewear were down from a year ago, due to market declines and increased competitive pricing. The decreases were offset, however, by sales upticks in casualwear and men’s and boys’ underwear.
As reported, the firm in March filed a reorganization plan in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Under the proposed plan, prepetition secured creditors would receive 99 percent of the reorganized company’s common stock and up to $300 million in unsecured senior notes. Later, a committee representing unsecured creditors filed a motion to stay all proceedings until certain claims are determined to be secured or unsecured, according to the company. FTL filed its voluntary Chapter 11 petition on December 29, 1999.

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