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Gildan products displayed at their annual general meeting in Montreal on January 31, 2008.

Gildan Activewear Inc. is paying $100-million (U.S.) in cash to acquire the leading supplier of garment-dyed T-shirts and sweatshirts for the North American printwear market.

The Montreal-based company said the purchase of Vermont's Comfort Colors, which has $95-million of annual sales, is expected to close this quarter.

Gildan also said Wednesday that it lost $41.2-million in the fourth quarter, missing analyst expectations.

The loss equalled 34 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Jan. 4. That compared to a profit of $41.7-million or 34 cents a year ago.

Adjusting for one-time items, it lost $37.6-million or 31 cents per share in the quarter, compared with a profit of $43.3-million or 35 cents in the prior year.

Sales decreased 13.5 per cent to $390.6-million as lower revenue from T-shirts sold to printers was partially offset by 20-per-cent growth in Gildan-branded products.

Gildan was expected to earn 30 cents per share on $400.7-million of revenue, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The company also said it would split its stock two-for-one on March 27.

Gildan also said it has signed country music superstar Blake Shelton as a pitchman for its brand of products.

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