Gildan Activewear has today announced “record” results, boosted by an “ongoing recovery in demand” that has pushed up sales of garments to above pre-pandemic levels.

The Montreal-based group reported it generated sales of £589 million (US$802 million) over the quarter from July to 3 October, up 33% over the same period in 2020 and 8% above the third quarter of 2019.

With sales back above pre-pandemic levels and stronger margins, the global group also saw earnings for the quarter reach record levels.

The overall sales increase was driven primarily by higher unit sales of activewear and underwear, a favourable product mix and lower promotional spending and other expenses on blank garments.

It benefited from the “non-recurrence” of Covid-related costs incurred last year when facilities were running below normal capacity levels.

The group has also achieved cost benefits through its Back to Basics initiatives introduced in 2018 to simplify its product portfolio and “reduce complexity” in manufacturing and distribution.

Internationally and in North America, shipments of activewear in the blank garments channel were up compared to the third quarter last year.

Glenn J Chamandy, president and CEO of Gildan, said: “Our record performance for the third quarter was driven by the improved economics of our business, underpinned by our Back to Basics model, the operational excellence of our team and the ongoing recovery in demand, which drove sales volumes which are now above pre-pandemic levels.

“Further, I feel confident that our team will continue to navigate through the tight supply chain environment, manage inflationary pressures and deliver results for our shareholders as we continue to move forward.”