NEW YORK — Citing surging demand for seamless intimate apparel, Tefron Ltd. reported profits shot up 91.5 percent in the first quarter ended March 31.
Earnings for the Israeli firm rose to $2.6 million, or 21 cents a share, from $1.4 million, or 11 cents, a year ago. Sales jumped 164.7 percent to $60.3 million from $22.8 million due to the acquisition late last year of Alba-Waldensian, an American company with facilities in North Carolina and Tennessee.
“The demand for seamless garments is taking the world by storm and we continue to add to our product line to address this demand,” said Sigi Rabinowicz, chief executive, in a statement.
He also said the integration of Alba was proceeding on schedule.
“We expect to have the company’s 250 knitting machines fully on line with our technology by the end of the second quarter,” said Rabinowicz. “We have also begun to upgrade the sewing process to robotics and expect this to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Our acquisition of Alba-Waldensian positions us as a global leader in seamless product production and further enables us to take advantage of the increasing demand for seamless products.”
The Alba acquisition broadened Tefron’s customer base to include Sears, Roebuck & Co., J.C. Penney and two units of The Limited, Lane Bryant and Express. Tefron is a major innerwear supplier to such chains as Victoria’s Secret, Gap and Banana Republic, and recently received initial orders from Target and Nike. It also makes seamless intimate apparel under the Benetton, Ralph Lauren Intimates, Calvin Klein and DKNY names.
Rabinowicz noted that the firm recently began producing sportswear, foundation garments and loungewear.
“We are confident that Tefron will continue to experience strong growth and profitability for the balance of the year,” he said.