T-shirt, underwear and sock maker Hanesbrands Inc is to cut nearly 400 jobs and close its yarn production plant in China Grove, North Carolina as part of its latest round of cost-cutting measures. 

Around 210 of the jobs being axed are management and corporate roles, while 185 employees will lose their positions when the yarn plant shuts at the end of the year.

About half of the management cutbacks are being made in the company's supply chain management organisation and half in corporate functions including customer management, finance, human resources, information technology and marketing.

"Given the significant economic uncertainty, we must manage our business conservatively, and we must tightly control costs," said Richard A Noll, Hanesbrands chief executive officer.

"These are difficult but necessary actions that we must take to compete in today's market environment and emerge as a stronger company."

Of the 210 positions, 155 are located in Winston-Salem, 35 at various other US locations, and 20 at international locations.

The company said the yarn plant closure is due to declining demand for higher-end ring-spun yarn used in certain underwear, sock and T-shirt products.

It expects the restructuring to incur charges of $14m, primarily in the fourth quarter.

Hanesbrands, which has approximately 48,600 employees worldwide and owns brands such as Champion, Wonderbra, Playtex and Bali, is in the midst of a long-term plan to cut costs by consolidating production into fewer but bigger facilities in Asia.

It expects its supply chain streamlining to be completed by the end of summer 2009.

Since spinning off from Sara Lee Corp in September 2006, Hanesbrands has brought the axe down on at least 28 plants worldwide employing around 16,300 workers.

Most recently, in September, it revealed plans to close nine plants in five western hemisphere countries and axe 8,100 jobs.

Restructuring costs dragged down third quarter profits at the apparel group, with net income falling 59.1% to US$15.9m as sales stagnated at $1.15bn. The firm has also been hit by the bankruptcy of regional retailers such as Mervyn's.