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Quaker triples profit in 4Q

FALL RIVER, MA — With sales and margins both climbing sharply higher and costs and interest expense both coming down, fourth-quarter profits at Quaker Fabric Corp. more than tripled, rising by 248.4 percent, to $2.9 million from $838,000 a year ago.

Driving the strong recovery, sales climbed higher at a double-digit pace, improving by 13.6 percent, to $78.5 million from $69.1 million.

Driven by fatter margins and lower costs, operating profits more than doubled, rising 113.8 percent, to $5.6 million from $2.6 million last year. Average gross margin widened by 320 basis points, to 22.8 percent from 19.6 percent. Gross profit increased by almost one-third, climbing by 31.9 percent, to $17.9 million from $13.6 million. Leveraging the stronger sales, costs were whittled down by 20 basis points, to 15.7 percent of sales from 15.9 percent.

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