Intimate apparel marketer Maidenform Brands has posted a 16% increase in net income to US$10.9m for the second quarter.

Total net sales for the quarter increased $1.9m, or 1.6%, to $119.0m.

Second quarter wholesale segment net sales increased 2.5% to $105.2m, with international sales jumping 17.0% to $10.3m.

Net sales for the department stores and national chain stores channel increased $8.6m, or 14.4%, to $68.2m, the company said, with growth largely driven by strong performance in the company's full-figure Lilyette brand.
Same-store sales for Maidenform's retail outlet stores decreased 6.1% during the period though as a result of a decrease in customer traffic, the company added.

Both operating income and earnings per share (EPS) are expected to be lower in the third quarter of 2007 and significantly higher in the fourth quarter of 2007, with net sales growth now forecasted at 5%-7% instead of 6%-7%.

Thomas J Ward, CEO, said: "I am pleased with our second quarter performance and our team's ability to drive strong earnings per share growth. We implemented three key actions in the quarter that further strengthened our position for long-term success.

"First, our focus on Maidenform's branded business led to low double-digit net sales growth in our branded wholesale business. Second, we improved consolidated gross
margins by 220 basis points to 39.9% through our customer and product mix in the quarter, as well as sourcing initiatives. And last, we strengthened the balance sheet by refinancing our credit facility with significantly lower rates, while maintaining financial flexibility to execute future growth."