Textile manufacturer Delta Woodside Industries Inc has begun a major project to modernise its cotton finishing plant in Wallace, South Carolina.

The Greenville-based firm said in a statement the first phase will be completed by next June and further work will be carried out in fiscal 2004 and 2005 so the finishing facility is better prepared for growth and improved quality.

President and CEO Bill Garrett commented: "This project is consistent with our commitment to lower cost and improve product quality as we move toward a global textile marketplace in 2005."

He added: "The company is on track to meet its plan of $.70 to $.85 earnings per share for fiscal year 2003."