UPDATE 1-Gildan raises full-year revenue forecast

Wed Feb 6, 2013 5:30pm EST

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Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canadian clothing maker Gildan Activewear Inc raised its full-year earnings forecast after posting a profit for its first quarter, driven by sales in its printwear business.

The company now expects full-year revenue to slightly exceed its previous forecast of about $2.1 billion, while backing its earnings outlook of between $2.60 and $2.70 per share.

Gildan is a top supplier to screenprinting companies, which print designs on its T-shirts and other basic clothing items. The company also makes private-label and branded socks sold by mass-market retailers.

But the company has been shifting away from the private-label business, and has been spending to market its own brands such as Gildan and Gold Toe.

Gildan reported a net income of $35.3 million, or 29 cents per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 30, compared with a loss of $46.1 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company, which holds the U.S. sock licenses for Under Armour Inc and New Balance, said net sales rose 39 percent to $420.8 million.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $398 million.

Montreal-based Gildan's printwear segment sales rose 65.6 percent, while sales in branded apparel rose 13 percent.

Shares of Gildan, which has a market value of about C$4.46 billion, closed at C$36.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock has gained about 70 percent of its value in the last one year.

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