Uniform and protective clothing manufacturer UniFirst Corporation has announced record first quarter earnings of $180.9 million, a 21.3 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier.

The Massachusetts-based company, which earned $149.2m in first quarter 2003, attributed 16.3 per cent of its first quarter revenue growth to acquisitions.

Net income also increased 48.3 per cent year-on-year to $9.5m for the quarter.
According to CEO Ronald Croatti, the company was "pleased" with its results for the three-month period.

"Improved earnings were due primarily to better performance from our laundry operations and additional profits from manufacturing, offset somewhat by higher interest expense related to the Textilease acquisition," he said.