Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) has announced financial results for its fiscal year 2019 first quarter, which ended December 29, 2018. The Greenville, South Carolina, supplier had released preliminary results for the quarter last month, and now reports that it achieved sales growth of 12.5 percent and increased profitability.

“Our team delivered a strong start to the new fiscal year and we are pleased with the wide-ranging performance we saw across our business during the first quarter, including double-digit sales growth in both our Delta Group and Salt Life Group segments,” says Robert W. Humphreys, the company’s chairman and CEO. “The continuing expansion of our digital print business, DTG2Go, which grew over 250 percent during the quarter, and double-digit sales growth in our Salt Life lifestyle brand were key drivers in our results.”

The supplier’s net sales for the quarter were $101.7 million, up 12.5 percent from $90.3 million in the same quarter last year. Net sales in the Delta Group, which is comprised of its DTG2Go digital print business, Delta Activewear business and Soffe brand, also increased 12.5 percent in the quarter, while net sales in the Salt Life Group, which is comprised of the Salt Life and Coast lifestyle brands, increased 13.5 percent. Delta Apparel’s gross profit was $18.6 million, up 13 percent from $16.4 million last year and gross margin improved 20 basis points to 18.3 percent, up from last year’s 18.1 percent.

Operating income in the quarter of $117,000 was down from $1.7 million in first quarter fiscal 2018, which Delta Apparel attributes to an expense of $2.5 million taken during the quarter in connection with the resolution of litigation stemming from The Sports Authority’s March 2016 bankruptcy. Excluding that expense, operating income was $2.6 million, up 49 percent from the same quarter last year. Delta Group’s segment operating income was impacted by the litigation expense and came in at $2.8 million, compared to $4.4 million in the prior year first quarter. Excluding that expense, Delta Group’s operating income improved by approximately $800,000, or 18.5 percent, over the prior year. Salt Life Group’s segment operating income was approximately $400,000, up 58 percent from first quarter 2018

Humphreys adds, “We believe we are well-positioned for more growth as we look to further capitalize on our industry-leading position in the digital print space, leverage our vertical manufacturing platform and increase consumer awareness of our Salt Life lifestyle brand through new product categories as well as growth with national and regional retailers and our own direct-to-consumer channels. This is an exciting time for Delta Apparel and we are extremely optimistic about our prospects going forward.”