Their cup of T
GILDAN?Activewear has invested $40 million in the sprawling property and building that houses its new operating headquarters in Newton Business Park.
The new complex was officially opened yesterday before an audience that included Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson, president of Gildan, Michael Hoffman, and vice-president of operations David Forster.
A world-class manufacturer of basic apparel, known for its production of T-shirts, Gildan is a Canadian offshore company that has been operating here since 1999.
The company spent $32 million to acquire the Christ Church property and a further $8 million on the modernised complex that was designed by Barbadian/Canadian architect Pierre Tatem.
Hutson told dozens of business officials and employees that he was pleased that Gildan’s first-quarter earnings for this year had eclipsed those for the same period last year and that second-quarter results were also projected to be up 15 per cent on 2010 figures.
“Considering that the first quarter is seasonally the lowest quarter in the fiscal year for sales of T-shirts, this record first-quarter performance by Gildan International speaks to the belief in and application of Gildan’s statement that the success of their company is closely tied to the efforts of the qualified individuals who uphold their values as proud members of the Gildan team,” he said.
“Barbados is therefore immensely proud to be part of this recovery as we know that our citizens have also played a role in this recovery.”
Hutson said he was delighted that Gildan’s staff had grown from fewer than ten to 128 and that the company projected a doubling of employees over the next three to five years.
He added that the international business sector was this country’s second largest earner of foreign exchange behind tourism.
“With the help of companies such as Gildan Activewear, Barbados has over the last 25 years grown into a world-class international business centre enjoying a sound reputation based on its low tax advantages, high-quality infrastructure, expanding treaty network and strong human capital,” he added.
Hoffman said the local operation manages sales, marketing and all other sales support functions that include customer service, credit collection, production forecasting, inventory management and distribution.
“Gildan’s range of products sold include men’s, boys’, ladies’ and girls’ T-shirts, sweat shirts and knit polo shirts,” added Hoffman, who said that these products were sold in over 35 countries.
According to Hoffman, Gildan produced and sold over 600 million garments last year.