Apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc is planning to invest more than US$200m in two new vertical yarn-spinning facilities in the US to support its projected sales growth.

The Montreal, Canada based company, which manufactures T-shirts, socks, underwear and sportswear, today (23 September) said it is currently evaluating potential sites in the southern US. The construction and ramp-up of the new facilities is expected to take place during fiscal 2014 and 2015.

The facilities will be built with the most modern technology, which Gildan expects will continue to differentiate the product quality of its own-branded products.

This investment comes on top of a new ring-spun yarn manufacturing facility being constructed in Salisbury, North Carolina.

The company is also refurbishing and modernising its open-end facilities in Clarkton, North Carolina and Cedartown, Georgia, both of which are due to be finished by mid-year 2014.

Not only does it expect the total investment in its US yarn-spinning facilities, including the two new facilities, to create over 700 jobs. But it will also help strengthen the domestic US component of its vertically-integrated manufacturing.

Speaking to analysts last month, Glenn Chamandy, Gildan's founder, president and CEO hinted at the company's plans for a "major textile facility", indicating that it would be "the biggest, largest low-cost facility in our arsenal at that time, by the time we get it up and running."

The company is adding "significant capacities" to support new programmes covering underwear, socks and activewear.

As reported on just-style last week, it has also inaugurated its second sewing facility in the Dominican Republic, at the Las Americas Industrial Free Zone Park, where it will produce basic T-shirts intended for the North American market.

Gildan most recently booked a 47.3% jump in third-quarter profit to $115.8m, helped by a 2.3% rise in sales to $614.3m - but said sales would have been even higher had it not been for production capacity constraints.