Branded apparel company G&K Services has posted revenue for the first quarter ended 2 October 2004 of $182.4 million, up 2.1 per cent over the $178.6m reported in the first fiscal quarter last year.

Earnings per diluted share totalled $0.45 for the quarter, a 15.4 percent increase compared to $0.39 during the prior-year quarter.

First quarter revenue from G&K's rental business increased to $176.3m, up 1.7 per cent over the prior-year period.

Direct sale revenue increased to $6.1m, up 15.4 per cent over the prior-year quarter.

G&K's chief executive officer, Richard Marcantonio said: "During the first quarter, we continued to build momentum across the business.

"In addition to capturing the ongoing benefits of our operational initiatives, we continued to focus on improving overall revenue growth. We made steady progress on enhancing our sales leadership, maintaining higher sales staffing levels and training new sales professionals."

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based G&K Services Inc is a market leader in branded identity apparel programs and facility services in the US and Canada.

G&K operates over 130 processing facilities and branch offices.