• Q4 profit dived 31.5% to $28m
  • Sales declined slightly to $1.1bn
  • FY net income rose 25% to US$266.7m

Apparel group HanesBrands has reported a 25% jump in full-year profit, but admitted that sales softened during the fourth quarter.

For the year, net income rose to US$266.7m as sales rose 7% to reach $4.64bn.

But fourth-quarter profit dived 31.5% to $28m, as sales declined slightly to $1.1bn. The company attributed the drop to an "unexpected and substantial" slowing of orders in December as retailers cut back on their inventories.

"We achieved record earnings and sales in 2011 with strong performance in several of our categories, including underwear and socks, although we were disappointed with late fourth-quarter softness that yielded results below our expectations," said chairman and CEO Richard Noll.

"For 2012, we expect to get through the challenges of the inflation overhang and outerwear wholesale issues while we focus on core growth and delivering strong free cash flow that will be used to reduce long-term debt."

In 2012, the company expects net sales to increase between 2-4%, driven by growth in its innnerwear, international and direct-to-consumer segments.

It expects these gains to be offset by declines in outerwear, which includes the casual and active wear wholesale categories which are sold to screen printers.