Leading clothing supplier Gildan Activewear has today reported a recovery in sales and profits after Covid-19 restrictions sent it plunging into a loss in spring last year.

Sales were up 225% to $747.2 million (£537 million) for the three months to 4 July 2021 while gross profit was back up to $240.8 million (£173 million) compared to a gross loss of $148.5 million (£106 million) in the same quarter in 2020.

Recovery was strongest in North America while the rest of the world including the UK remained “weak”, hit by “inflationary pressures” such as transportation costs.

Overall, the group’s sales were down just 6.8% compared to the same three months two years ago in 2019.

Gildan added that sales of imprintables such as blank garments had not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels but it was “pleased” to see trends improving.

Alongside fewer Covid-related restrictions this year, its results have benefited from lower cotton costs and its “Back to Basics” cost-cutting strategy that saw it simplify its product portfolio and seek savings in manufacturing through scale.

In a statement today, the Montréal-based group said: “We are encouraged by the recovery we have seen in our business in North America, although the recovery outside of North America remains weak.

“Further, on the supply chain side, we continue to monitor US labour shortages which have been affecting yarn production and our ability to rebuild higher inventory levels.

“We are also seeing tightness in raw material inputs and transportation-related factors globally which are creating inflationary pressure.

“Consequently, we remain cautiously optimistic as the recovery progresses.

“We are also pleased on how our Back to Basics strategy is unfolding and delivering results, and we remain confident that it is positioning us well to capitalise on market share opportunities and create value for our shareholders over the long term as we continue to move forward.”