Sweater manufacturer Hampshire Group Limited on Thursday posted a narrowed second quarter net loss of $523,000 amid soaring sales compared to the year-ago period when it reported a net loss of $2.1 million.

The South Carolina-based company said sales jumped 22 per cent in the quarter to $31.5m from $25.8m in 2001, with its new line of cotton sweaters sold under its Designers Originals label and of women's related separates sold under its Requirements label performing well.

It added for the first half, it made net income of $573,000 versus a net loss of $3.2m in the year prior with sales up 18 per cent to $74.3m from $63.1m.

Chairman and CEO, Ludwig Kuttner, stated: "Hampshire is off to a good start for 2002 with strong sales and booked orders."