SIGNAL DOUBLES PERIOD SALES, NARROWS LOSSES

NEW YORK — Signal Apparel’s introduction of the Tahiti and Umbro lines helped trim its losses and more than double its sales in the final quarter of 1999.
The net loss for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1999, was $15.7 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a loss of $23.3 million, or 71 cents a share, in the 1998 quarter. Sales reached $19.4 million, a 104 percent increase over the $9.5 million registered in the 1998 quarter.
Signal, which designs and markets activewear, swimwear and bodywear, said the increase in sales was primarily attributable to last year’s acquisition of Tahiti and the launch of Umbro.
“Gross profit for the year was impacted by losses associated with the sale of obsolete and slow-moving inventory as the company completed its transition from a manufacturing company to a sales and marketing company,” Signal said in a statement.
“The net loss was increased by costs associated with the consolidation of sales, marketing and administrative and warehousing functions with similar Tahiti functions in accordance with the company’s business plan.”
For the year, Signal’s net loss was $50.9 million compared with $39.7 million in 1998. With a 50 percent increase in shares outstanding, the loss per share declined to $1.04 from $1.22. Sales doubled for the year, to $98.7 million from $48.9 million.