September 27, 2006
Manufacturing · Supply chain
Gildan Activewear Announces Restructuring of Canadian And U.S. Manufacturing Operations
Montreal, Wednesday, September 27, 2006 – Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL; TSX and NYSE) today announced that in December 2006 it is closing its textile manufacturing facility in Valleyfield, Quebec, which will also result in downsizing of its knitting facility in Montreal, Quebec. Concurrently, the Company also announced the closure and downsizing of sock manufacturing capacity located in Mount Airy, North Carolina and Hillsville, Virginia, which will be undertaken over the next three to four months.
Approximately 155 employees at the Valleyfield facility and approximately 50 employees at the Montreal knitting facility will be affected by the rationalization of the Canadian textile facilities. Approximately 335 positions in the U.S. will be eliminated at this time as a result of the rationalization of the U.S. hosiery operations.
Gildan sincerely regrets the impact of these announcements on its Canadian and U.S. employees, their families and their communities. The Company will treat all employees fairly and will make every effort to alleviate the impact of this transition for the employees whose positions are being eliminated.
Although the Company recognizes that its work force in its Canadian and U.S. operations have many years of experience in textiles and hosiery manufacturing, the relocation of production capacity to the Company’s offshore manufacturing hubs in Central America and the Caribbean Basin is required in order to continue to be cost-competitive against Asian imports and other global producers in the intensely competitive North American apparel industry. Gildan has made significant capital investments in new state-of-the-art production capacity in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, where the Company is committed to operate its offshore manufacturing operations in accordance with the highest standards of social responsibility.
In addition to the restructuring of its manufacturing operations, Gildan has also announced that it will close its Canadian distribution centre in Montreal at the end of October 2006. Distribution operations in Canada will be handled by a third party logistics partner, in order to provide greater flexibility in meeting the needs of Gildan’s wholesale distributors and retail customers in Canada. Six employees will be affected by the closure of the Montreal distribution centre.
Gildan is a vertically-integrated marketer and manufacturer of quality branded basic apparel. The Company is the leading supplier of activewear for the wholesale imprinted sportswear market in the U.S. and Canada, and also a leading supplier to this market in Europe. The Company sells T-shirts, sport shirts and sweatshirts in large quantities to wholesale distributors as undecorated “blanks”, which are subsequently decorated by screenprinters with designs and logos. Consumers ultimately purchase the Company’s products, with the Gildan label, in venues such as sports, entertainment and corporate events, and travel and tourism destinations. Other end-uses include work uniforms and similar applications to convey individual, group and team identity. In addition to continuing its growth within the wholesale channel, Gildan is implementing a major new growth initiative to sell athletic socks, underwear and activewear to mass-market retailers in North America.
Certain statements included in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities legislation and regulations. Such forward-looking statements involve assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, but not limited to: general economic conditions such as currency exchange rates, commodity prices and other factors over which we have no control; the impact of economic and business conditions, industry trends and other external and political factors in the countries in which we operate; the intensity of competitive activity; changes in environmental, tax, trade and other laws and regulations; our ability to implement our strategies and plans; our ability to complete and successfully integrate acquisitions; changes in customer demand for our products and our ability to maintain customer relationships and grow our business; the seasonality of our business; our ability to attract and retain key personnel; changes in accounting policies; and, disruption to manufacturing and distribution activities due to the impact of weather, natural disasters and other unforeseen adverse events, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made only as of the date of this press release. We refer you to the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities for a discussion of other factors that may affect the Company’s future results.
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Investor inquiries :
Jessy Hayem, CFA
Vice-President, Head of Investor Relations
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