Underwear and intimate apparel company Delta Galil has announced it will lay off 2,000 workers as it closes plants in Central and North America and Israel, and has also reported a $22.8 million third-quarter loss.

Delta, which has already lain off workers because of closures this year, said the latest job cuts were part of a reorganisation plan aimed at cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and returning the business to profitability.

The reorganisation strategy was announced in the second quarter, following changes in the business environment and a decrease in selling prices.

Chief executive officer Arnon Tiberg said: "We believe that full implementation of the reorganisation plan, along with reducing the cost of procurement, will decrease costs and help to offset a large portion of the selling price reduction,"

The reorganisation process is set to last 12 months, due to end in the third quarter of 2006. The changes are expected to cost a total of $20.6m.

Delta said third-quarter net loss totalled $22.8m compared to a net income of $5.0m in the same period last year, while sales fell 3 per cent to $172.0m from $176.5m a year ago.

Net loss for the first nine months of 2005 was $28.7m compared to income of $12.9m last year, while nine-month sales rose 6 per cent to $514.3m from $487.1m a year ago.

Delta markets its products primarily in the US, Israel, Canada, and Europe.