Activewear group Delta Apparel has posted second quarter net income of US$0.6m, compared to a prior year Q2 net loss of $2.8m, including $2.0m of restructuring related expenses.

The company said net sales for the three months were a record $73.4m, an increase of 6.7%, from the prior year's second quarter, driven by a 17% sales increase in the retail-ready segment with flat sales in the activewear segment.

Gross margins increased 610 basis points to 21.9% compared to 15.8% in the prior year second quarter.

Robert W. Humphreys, the company's president and CEO, said: "Overall we were pleased with our results in the second quarter. Our diversified channels of distribution and broad product offerings are resulting in sales and earnings growth in less than ideal market conditions.

"While there are many unknowns in the general economy and apparel marketplace, we believe the marketing and operational enhancements we have made will allow us to continue to grow our sales and profitability in the second half of our fiscal year."

The company's retail-ready segment, comprised of the Soffe and Junkfood businesses, reported a 17.0% sales increase to $32.4m for the second quarter.

Its activewear segment, comprised of the Delta and FunTees businesses, reported sales of $41.0m, flat compared to last year's Q2.

Net sales for the six months ended 27 December were $164.8m, an increase of 16.6%, while net income for the six months was $1.3m from a prior year net loss of $4.4m.

For the fiscal year ending 27 June, the company expects net sales to be in the range of $340m to $360m and earnings to be in the range of $0.70 to $0.90 per diluted share. This compares to fiscal year 2008 sales of $322.0m and a loss of ($0.06) per diluted share.