Robert W. Humphreys, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We just completed a strong first quarter to begin fiscal year 2012. Each operating division increased revenues, contributing to the 14.5% organic sales growth during the quarter. Demand for our brands, licensed properties and decorated merchandise continues to grow, which allows us to ship higher value product to our retail partners and directly to consumers through our e-commerce sites. Our manufacturing facilities are operating efficiently and we are leveraging our fixed costs on higher volumes to improve our profitability. We anticipate continued revenue growth in the upcoming quarters, although we expect our profitability to be negatively impacted with our highest cost cotton flowing through cost of sales in our second and third fiscal quarters. Despite these less than ideal conditions, we expect to generate earnings growth in fiscal year 2012.”
Branded Segment Review
Branded segment sales for the first quarter were $70.9 million, a 21.5% increase from the prior year first quarter sales of $58.4 million. Sales of vintage inspired tees through our Junkfood business and Salt Life® products drove the growth during the quarter, with Soffe and Art Gun also contributing to the revenue increase. Gross margin improvement, along with better leveraged selling, general and administrative costs, drove an increase in operating income to $5.1 million, or 7.2% of sales, compared to $2.8 million, or 4.8% of sales, in the prior year quarter.
Basics Segment ReviewThe basics segment had sales of $52.6 million for the quarter ended October 1, 2011, an increase of 6.2% compared to the prior year first quarter, driven by sales growth in both catalog products and private label programs. The revenue growth resulted from a 17.3% increase in average selling prices partially offset by a 9.5% decrease in unit sales. The first quarter of fiscal year 2012 continued the rollout of higher priced cotton in cost of sales; however, the Company expects that its highest cost cotton will flow through cost of sales during its second and third fiscal quarters. Higher selling prices, coupled with improved manufacturing results and the ability to leverage general and administrative expenses, resulted in operating income of $1.6 million, or 3.0% of sales, compared to $0.2 million, or 0.3% of sales, in the prior year first quarter.