Underwear manufacturer Hanesbrands has hailed a successful year after reporting an increase in sales and agreeing to acquire Australian intimate apparel retailer Bras N Things for about US$400 million (£288m).
Hanesbrands, the owner of Maidenform, Playtex, Shock Absorber (pictured) and Wonderbra, witnessed a full-year net sales growth of 7% to $6.4bn in the 52 weeks to December 31 and fourth-quarter net sales increased 4% to $1.6bn.
International sales increased 8% to $545.3m, while online sales increased globally by 22%.
In the three months to December 30, the company recorded a net loss of $384.6m, compared to a profit of $157m in the previous year.
But Hanesbrands said it took a $457m charge in the fourth quarter related to a US federal income tax reform.
Hanes CEO Gerald W Evans Jr said: “2017 was a successful year during which we focused on diversifying our business to be able to consistently deliver annual topline growth.
“We rebounded to achieve organic growth in the third and fourth quarters, including fourth-quarter organic growth for each of the innerwear, activewear and international segments. We have additional work to do, including addressing inflationary and short-term cost pressures, but our brands are strong, our key market shares are increasing, our international businesses are sizable and growing, and we are driving significant direct-to-consumer growth worldwide.
Hanes also has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bras N Things, a specialty retailer and online seller of intimate apparel in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The all-cash transaction is valued at A$500m (approximately US$400 million) on an enterprise-value basis.
“Bras N Things is a leading intimate apparel retailer and ecommerce business that is a strategic and natural complement to our very successful Bonds underwear business in Australia and New Zealand,” Evans said.
“It has a great business model that appeals to millennial consumers featuring core products supplemented by seasonal product offerings. This consumer-direct sales model has significant potential for expansion into other geographic markets. We are delighted that Bras N Things CEO George Wahby, who oversees a talented management team, will remain with our Hanes Australasia business unit.”
With the acquisition, Hanes’ combined Australian commercial businesses would hold the number one market position in bras and the number one market position in panties in Australia, as well as the number one market position for underwear, socks and babywear, the company said.