• Swung to Q1 profit of $51.4m
  • Gross margin improved to 34.6%
  • Net sales declined 3% to $945m 

HanesBrands has swung to a first quarter profit as margins improved on lower cotton costs and a better product pricing environment.

The company said net income reached US$51.4m over the quarter ended 30 March, against a $26.8m loss in the same period of the prior year. Gross margin improved to 34.6% from 25.1% in the prior year period.

However, net sales declined 3% to $945m, which the company attributed to a sluggish retail environment.

"We are pleased with our ongoing strategic execution, which resulted in improved profitability in the first quarter and bolsters our outlook for the rest of the year," Hanes chairman and CEO Richard Noll said.

"Our operating profit margin was strong, our brands are commanding more retail shelf space, and our product innovation is working. We have more margin improvement potential ahead of us."