International Textile Group Inc, which makes denim and other apparel fabrics, government uniforms, automotive safety textiles and products for technical and specialty-textile markets, is to invest more than $300m on four offshore manufacturing plants.

The company, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, said the two plants in China and one plant each in Vietnam and Nicaragua are expected to be operational in 2007 and early 2008.

International Textile Group (ITG), which was formed by the combination of International Textile Group and Safety Components International in October 2006, is also investing $35m to add a new one- piece woven airbag operation within its Richmond Plant in Cordova, NC.

ITG is aggressively transforming itself from a North American textile manufacturer into a global provider of textiles and related supply chain solutions

In June 2006, the company invested $27m to purchase its joint venture partner's 50% equity interest in Parras Cone, a state-of-the-art denim facility in Mexico, enhancing its platform in that region.

The company on Tuesday (24 April) reported a loss of $50m in fiscal year 2006, which it blamed on restructuring costs related to the closure of domestic plants and the start-up expenses of its greenfield projects.

Wilbur L Ross, ITG chairman, said the company also expects to incur losses into the first half of 2007 "as our expansion projects reach completion."

He added that the company is focusing is on the successful start-up and implementation of key strategic initiatives across new and existing operations and the continued transformation from a North American producer to a diversified, global manufacturer."