Adverse foreign currency exchange rates have coupled with restructuring costs to push apparel maker Warnaco to a fourth quarter loss, although cost cuts meant it still managed to exceed expectations. 

For the three months to 3 January, the owner of brands such as Warner's, Olga, and Speedo posted a loss of $16.3m or $0.36 per share, compared with a profit of $22.9m, or $0.49 per share, a year earlier.

The company, which also makes Calvin Klein jeans and underwear under license, was hit by of $36.9m in pension and restructuring expenses, after it announced plans in November to cut 7% of its corporate staff.

It said fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations was $12.4mmillion, compared with a profit of $20.4m a year earlier.

Net revenues fell 4% to $445.9m, but were up 4% on a constant currency basis, the company said. Unfavourable currency rates knocked $41.6m off fourth quarter revenues.

Across its business groups, Sportswear revenues fell 4% to $236.5m, Intimate Apparel group sales dropped 8% to $163.3m, and Swimwear revenues rose 5% to $46.2m.

For the year as a whole, net income tumbled 40.2% to $47.3m or $1.01 per share, down from $79.1m or $1.70 per share in the prior year.

Net revenues rose 13% on a constant currency basis and rose 14% on a reported basis to $2.1bn, and gross margin increased 340 basis points to 45% of net revenues.

Sportswear revenues increased 17% to $1.1bn, Intimate Apparel group revenues rose 12% to $702.3m, and Swimwear sales were up 3% to $260.0m.

President and CEO Joe Gromek, said: "We are pleased with our results, particularly in light of the recent economic downturn. Powerful growth in our Calvin Klein businesses and continued improvement in the performance of our heritage businesses contributed to these results."

Looking ahead to fiscal 2009, the company said net revenues are likely to fall by 2% to 5% on a constant currency basis, with earnings from continuing operations in the range of $2.40 to $2.66 a share.