Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear has posted a 3% rise in third quarter net earnings, despite $2.3m in restructuring charges.
 
Profit climbed to US$54.0m, from $52.4m in the same period last year.

The charges relate to costs related to the closure of its Canadian and US manufacturing facilities, and a planned consolidation of sewing operations in Haiti, the company said.

Sales in the third quarter were up 30.6% to $380.8m, from $291.6m last year.

Revenues were helped by an increase of $43.8m in sock sales following the acquisition of VI Prewett & Son in the first quarter, a 6% increase in activewear unit selling prices, and a 10.4% increase in unit sales volumes for activewear and underwear.

Gross margins in the third quarter declined slightly to 31.6%, compared to 32.4% in the prior year period.

Gildan added that growth in activewear unit sales was "significantly constrained" by lack of inventory, as a result of lower than anticipated production from the company's Dominican Republic textile manufacturing facility.

"The company has made good progress in improving the performance of the Dominican Republic facility during the third quarter, although its inventory levels for activewear continue to be very low," a statement said.

The company continued with its previous guidance of EPS of $1.45-$1.50 for the full 2008 fiscal year.

But it said it is unable to provide earnings guidance for fiscal 2009, blaming a lack of visibility on certain key external factors impacting the company's results.