Mooi River Textiles - which faced closure in May following a R4 million loss for the past four years - has recorded its first monthly profit in four years, doubled production in August, and has recruited extra workers to cope with growing demand.

The firm, part of German entrepreneur Claas Daun's textile stable, has been given until June 2003 to break even, and with an order book that is full until the end of December looks likely to succeed.

The turnaround has been achieved on the strength of better efficiency and productivity from workers following the appointment of a cut-make-and-trim consultant to manage production. Chris Woudberg, Mooi's financial manager, said production at the company had doubled year-on-year to 53 000 units in August, and average production since May had increased by 25 per cent.

Paul Schouten, Daun's corporate head in South Africa, said the challenge now facing the company "is to grow export orders sufficiently to make up for the historically low period in January, February and March."

Exports have grown from zero to 10 per cent of production since May, and contracts with companies in Australia, Canada and Ireland are believed to be in the pipeline.