Textile giant Delta Woodside Industries Inc on Tuesday revealed it swung to a first quarter profit on the back of a near 25 per cent jump in sales and a tax benefit.

The South Carolina-based producer of woven and knitted fabrics reported net income of $1.4 million for the period ended September 28, compared to a net loss of $8.2m last year. Net sales soared 24.9 per cent to $46.2m from $37m in 2001.

It added net income for the current year quarter included a net gain of $454,000 from the repurchase by the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Delta Mills Inc, of a portion of its 9 5/8 per cent senior notes.

President and CEO, WF Garrett, commented, "Unfortunately, we do not see great improvement in the market place. As the holiday season approaches, consumers continue to be concerned about job security and retailers are nervous about holiday store traffic.

"Fortunately, our efforts to lower our costs and reposition our company over the past year are beginning to show results even in this new, very difficult retail environment. We certainly are pleased with our results and look forward to the second quarter with optimism."

Delta Woodside Industries Inc employs about 1,800 people and operates six plants in North and South Carolina.