Despite challenging retail conditions over the past few months, Delta Apparel Inc recorded sales of $28.0m for the third fiscal quarter ended 31 March 2001. This is up $0.7m or 2.5 per cent from the third fiscal quarter of last year .

The vertically integrated supplier of knit apparel saw operating earnings at $3.0m, up $0.1m, or 4.2 per cent from the third fiscal quarter of last year. Net earnings for the quarter were $2.2m, up $1.4m from the third fiscal quarter of last year. Net earnings were 7.8 per cent of sales, compared with 2.7 per cent of sales in the prior year quarter.

Sales for the first nine months of fiscal year 2001 were $85.0m, up $7.5m, or 9.7 per cent from the same period last year. For the nine months ended 31 March 2001, operating earnings were $9.6m, up $3.7m, or 61.4 per cent.

"We are very pleased with our continued growth in sales and operating earnings for the third quarter of the fiscal year, especially considering the challenging retail conditions in recent months," commented president and CEO Robert W Humphreys.

"Our unit volume increased from the prior year quarter by just under 10 per cent. However, various price promotions in the activewear market drove our prices slightly lower as compared to the previous year. It is uncertain to what extent, if any, these price promotions will affect our fourth quarter results."