South Carolina-based apparel fabric manufacturer Delta Woodside Industries Inc on Wednesday announced it swung to a first quarter loss as it was hurt by weak retail sales and over capacity.

The company posted a net loss of $3.1 million, or 53 cents per common share for the quarter ended September 27, compared to net income of $1.4m or 24 cents, in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the latest 13 week period fell 7.8 per cent to $42.6m from $46.2m last year while it posted an operating loss of $1.9m versus a year-ago operating profit of $3.1m.

President and CEO, WF Garrett, commented: "The order flow on our books did not happen as planned due to unexpectedly slow retail late in the first quarter.

"Slow retail continued early in the second quarter, but recently, retail has improved and inventories throughout the supply chain should be corrected."

Greenville-headquartered Delta Woodside employs around 1,600 people and operates five plants in South Carolina.