• Q1 profit jumped 158% to $42.8m
  • Net sales up 14.5% to $409.0m
  • Carter's brands up 17.6%, OshKosh B'gosh grows 2.9%

Carter's Inc, which makes apparel for babies and young children, has got off to a strong start in 2010 after higher sales helped profit soar by 157.9%.

The Atlanta based firm, said net income jumped to $42.8m or $0.71 per share, compared to $16.6m or $0.28 per share a year earlier.

Excluding the cost of cutting 10% of its workforce and closing a distribution facility in 2009, adjusted net income was $42.8m or $0.71 per share, the company added.

"We've continued to build on the positive momentum from 2009, which is driven by strong consumer demand for our products across our multiple channels of distribution," said chairman and CEO Michael Casey.

"We are pleased with the launch of our new e-commerce business in the first quarter, which we believe will complement our existing businesses and be an additional driver of longer term growth."

Net sales in the quarter rose by 14.5% to $409.0m, with the Carter's brands up 17.6%, to $332.3m and OshKosh B'gosh brand growing 2.9% to $76.7m.

There was growth at wholesale for the Carter's brands, which were up 20.1% to $146.3m whereas OshKosh fell 5.2% to $21.6m, which the company blamed on lower off-price sales.

Retail sales at the 281 Carter's and 172 OshKosh stores increased 12.7% to $173.3m. Both the Carter's and OshKosh segments lifted by new store openings and the benefit of an earlier Easter holiday.

Mass channel sales, which include the Child of Mine brand to Walmart and Just One Year brand to Target, rose by 15.5%, to $67.9m.

In its outlook the company anticipates second quarter sales will increase low single digits and earnings will be flat to down slightly on last year's $0.32 per share.
Full-year sales are seen up in the mid to high single digits and earnings per share 15% to 20% higher than last year's $2.15.