Moody's Investors Service has lifted its ratings on Perry Ellis International to positive, the Miami-based apparel maker said yesterday (28 June).

The positive outlook reflected its "expectation for sustained improvement in Perry Ellis' operating performance," Moody's said in a report last week.

This is "supported by the resumption of profitable growth through incremental business with existing and new customers and margin improvement through cost containment and better inventory management," it added.

Moody's also noted that Perry Ellis has also significantly improved its liquidity and credit metrics over the last nine months, aided by strong free cash flow and debt reduction.

Perry Ellis, whose brands include Laundry by Shelli Segal, Cubavera and Jantzen, last month raised its full-year earnings guidance after nearly doubling its first quarter profit on the back of better margins and strong sales in its men's apparel and accessories businesses.

Profit in the three months to 1 May soared 92% to $11.2m, while total revenues were flat at $220.3m. Gross margins expanded by 420 basis points to 35.7%, the company said.