Gildan Activewear Inc. is going full camo.
The Montreal-based manufacturer of t-shirts, socks, underwear and other basics says it has obtained the worldwide license for the Mossy Oak hunting camouflage wear brand.
The company, which announced record fourth-quarter results Thursday on robust growth in sales and lower cotton costs and also hiked its dividend 20 per cent, says it sees big potential in marketing Mossy Oak camouflage activewear, underwear and socks.
"It's just become a lifestyle brand," Gildan chief executive Glenn Chamandy said on a conference call for investors and analysts Thursday.
"It's going to allow us to sell a premium product that demands a premium."
Among the apparel West Point, Miss.-based Mossy Oak markets on its website are undergarments that suppress odours "so you're less detectable and more lethal" and women's camo panties and nightgowns.
The Mossy Oak deal is part of Gildan's strategy to expand its mix of apparel as the leader in low-cost, high-quality basic apparel, said Mr. Chamandy.
Gildan's fourth-quarter adjusted net earnings were $102-million (U.S.) or 83 cents per share, up from $94.9-million or 78 cents in the year-earlier period.
That result met analysts' consensus estimate of 83 cents.
Including non-recurring items, net earnings were $96.8-million or 79 cents, compared with $89-million or 73 cents.
Sales in the fourth quarter reached $626.2-million, up 11.5 per cent from $561.7-million.
Gildan said the earnings and earnings-per-share performance was due to strong sales growth in its two segments – printwear and branded apparel – as well as lower prices for cotton, partially offset by higher costs and income taxes.
The dividend payout is $0.108 per share, up from nine cents.
The company also provided its outlook for fiscal 2014: sales of $2.35-billion, up from $2.184-billion; and earnings-per-share of $3.00-to$3.10, up 11.5 per cent to 15.2 per cent from $2.69.