GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Burlington Industries Inc. has reported a net loss of $11.5 million, or 22 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. This compares to a net loss of $5.3 million or 10 cents per share in the first quarter a year ago. Excluding runout costs related to the company's restructuring in September 2000, the first quarter loss was $10.4 million or 20 cents per share.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 were $364.3 million, compared with $371.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2000.

The first quarter performance, company executives maintained, was not unexpected in light of Burlington’s restructuring initiative, production curtailments for inventory reduction and slowing retail activity.

“We entered fiscal year 2001 with aggressive action plans and a resolve to improve the financial performance of the company. Our plan anticipated losses in the first half of the year,” said George W. Henderson III, chairman and CEO. “We are pleased with our progress, having achieved lower than expected losses and significant working capital improvements, while reducing debt by approximately $22 million during the quarter. The completion of our bank credit facility refinancing provides us the liquidity to move the company forward.”

Douglas J. McGregor, president and chief operating officer, said the company was on track to complete its capacity reductions by the end of the March quarter. “While achieving these reductions penalized earnings, they contributed significantly to debt Reduction,” he said. “Our performance thus far puts us on track to meet our annual plan and return the company to profitability in the second half of the year unless retail activity deteriorates significantly from our expectations."