NEW YORK — Dan River said its apparel fabrics division recorded an operating profit of $3.1 million against a $127,000 loss a year ago.
Sales dipped 8.1 percent to $37 million from $40.2 million.
Joseph L. Lanier, Dan River’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the apparel fabrics division benefited from cost control efforts in the last year and better operating schedules.
Apparel fabric sales have been hurt in the past few years by the flood of low-cost imports from Asia, and in January the firm formed a partnership to open a plant in Mexico.
Looking ahead, Lanier said, “Our apparel fabrics business remains stable, which should allow us to maintain a reasonably efficient manufacturing schedule.”
The division makes woven cotton and cotton-blend apparel fabrics, and is a leading North American supplier of men’s dress shirting fabrics.
Its largest customers are Arrow, Brooks Bros., Hathaway, Liz Claiborne, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Van Heusen, J.C. Penney and Sears. The division accounted for 22.4 percent of sales in the quarter for the Danville, Va., firm. The rest came from home fashions and engineered products.
Overall, net earnings surged more than threefold in the quarter, to $4.9 million, or 22 cents a share, from $1.55 million, or 7 cents, a year ago. Sales dipped 2.7 percent to $164.9 million from $169.5 million.