Categories Consumer, Earnings Call Transcripts

Hanesbrands Inc (HBI) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

HBI Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE: HBI) Q4 2022 earnings call dated Feb. 02, 2023

Corporate Participants:

T.C. Robillard — Chief Investor Relations Officer

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer

Analysts:

Omar Saad — Evercore ISI International Ltd — Analyst

Tom Nikic — Wedbush Securities Inc. — Analyst

Michael Binetti — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Ike Boruchow — Wells Fargo Securities, LLC — Analyst

Paul Kearney — Barclays Bank PLC — Analyst

Jay Sole — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Paul Lejuez — Citigroup, Inc. — Analyst

David Swartz — Morningstar, Inc. — Analyst

William Reuter — BofA Securities, Inc. — Analyst

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good day and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Hanesbrands Fourth Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, T.C. Robillard, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

T.C. Robillard — Chief Investor Relations Officer

Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Hanesbrands quarterly investor conference call and webcast. We’re pleased to be here today to provide an update on our progress after the fourth quarter of 2022. Hopefully everyone has had a chance to review the news release we issued earlier today. The news release, updated FAQ document, and the replay of this call can be found on the Investors section of our hanes.com website.

On the call today, we may make forward-looking statements either in our prepared remarks or in the associated question-and-answer session. These statements are based on current expectations or beliefs and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. These risks include those related to current macroeconomic conditions, consumer demand dynamics, the inflationary environment, cybersecurity, and our previously disclosed ransomware incident, and any ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These risks also include those detailed in our various filings with the SEC, which may be found in our website as well as in our news releases. The company does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking statements which speak only to the time at which they are made. Unless otherwise noted, today’s references to our consolidated financial results and guidance exclude all restructuring and other action-related charges and speak to continuing operations.

Additional information, including a reconciliation of these and other non-GAAP performance measures to GAAP can be found in today’s news release. Any references to 2019 reflect rebased 2019 results consistent with prior disclosures and can be found on our Investor Relations website.

With me on the call today are Steve Bratspies, our Chief Executive Officer; Michael Dastugue, our Chief Financial Officer; and Scott Lewis, our Chief Accounting Officer. For today’s call, Steve and Michael will provide some brief remarks and then we’ll open it up to your questions.

I’ll now turn the call over to Steve.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, T.C. Good morning, everyone, and welcome. For the quarter, Hanesbrands delivered sales that were above the high end of our forecast and adjusted operating profit and earnings per share that were essentially at the midpoint of our range. I’d like to start by thanking all of our associates around the world. The global operating environment has been anything but easy over the last three years. However, despite the significant volatility and uncertainty, through their dedication and hard work, we’ve been able to deliver for our consumers, serve our retail partners, and continue to progress on our Full Potential plan. I’m both grateful and proud of their tremendous efforts.

While I’m pleased we delivered on our guidance under difficult operating conditions, we expect the macroeconomic challenges impacting consumer demand and the lingering pressure from inflation to continue in 2023, particularly in the first half. Consistent with the mindset we’ve adopted since my first day, we’re not standing still. We’ll continue our proactive approach, remain agile, and continue to adapt, focusing on the things we can control and taking action allows us to manage through short-term challenges while at the same time continue to implement our long-term transformation strategy.

To that end, there are three important topics I’d like to discuss today. First, the near-term actions we’re taking toward reducing our leverage and strengthening our balance sheet. Second, the path to higher margins and operating cash flows as the year unfolds, including actions to mitigate near-term macro-related challenges. And third, an update on the implementation and progress of our Full Potential plan.

Let me walk you through each of these, beginning with our strategic actions to strengthen the long-term financial foundation of the company. Today we announced we’re shifting our capital allocation strategy, eliminating the dividend, and committing to reducing debt. To be clear, investing in the business and our Full Potential growth plan remains the priority for capital allocation. And we believe we are well positioned to fund these investments through operating cash flow. What’s changing is the allocation of our free cash flow, which we’ll now fully direct toward accelerating debt reduction. This decision was not made lightly, and we believe that a meaningful reduction in our debt will drive significantly higher shareholder returns long term.

We also updated our credit facility amendment to provide greater near-term flexibility given the uncertain macroeconomic environment. Michael will discuss this further in his section. In addition to these actions, we expect to refinance our 2024 maturities in the first quarter of this year, subject to market conditions.

Turning to margins and cash flow. We see the path to higher margins and operating cash flow as the year unfolds. The lower-cost inventory we’re currently producing should begin to hit our P&L in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. We’ll anniversary last year’s timeout cost, and we’re well positioned to benefit from the actions we’re taking to help mitigate the near-term macro-related challenges.

Looking at our mitigation actions, last year, we set an aggressive target to reduce our inventory units by the end of 2022, which we accomplished. This created a short-term drag on second half gross margins as we took time out in our manufacturing facilities. However, by taking this action, we believe we’re well positioned to release working capital and drive operating cash flow this year. We also began and expanded upon a number of cost savings initiatives, including exiting unproductive facilities, consolidating sourcing vendors, and aggressively managing SG&A.

Looking to 2023, we’re building on these initiatives with additional cost reductions as well as prudent investment management. We reduce corporate headcount in January. We’re expanding our savings actions across our procurement operations, including contract renegotiations, and we’re strategically managing our investments to align with the current macroenvironment, just to name a few. We believe the combination of these actions positions us to generate approximately $500 million in operating cash flow in 2023 to exit the year with a meaningfully higher run rate for both gross and operating margins and to operate even more efficiently, which unlocks long-term growth.

Lastly, I’d like to touch on our Full Potential plan. Our long-term strategy is fundamentally unchanged. The plan we’re executing is right and our long-term financial targets remain. However, given the realities of the near-term macroeconomic and consumer demand environments, our timetable has shifted to the end of 2026. Though the timeline has shifted, we’re confident in our ability to deliver $8 billion of sales and a mid-14% operating margin. Our confidence is reinforced by the improvements we’ve made in the way our business operates.

We’ve added new capabilities across the organization and exited non-strategic businesses. We’ve enhanced our inventory and demand planning processes as well as streamlined our innovation process in innerwear, which began to bear fruit with the launch of our Hanes Originals product. We’ve improved the go-forward efficiency and effectiveness of our supply chain. We reduce global SKUs by 45% since 2019, as well as exited unproductive facilities. We’re consolidating distribution centers, and we’re generating high-single-digit savings rates in our sourcing and procurement operations. Plus, we’re continuing our technology investments to improve our data analytics, drive global integration efficiency and ultimately lower costs.

We’ve also changed leadership in our global activewear business. The new team is moving fast. They’re streamlining the operating model, including global coordination of product design and merchandising, increased speed to market, and portfolio simplification. This in turn is expected to drive a more focused global product and channel segmentation strategy that provides greater clarity to retailers and consumers, as well as improves the long-term health of both the Champion and Hanes activewear brands. It’s also expected to build the right foundation to drive revenue and margin growth well beyond the timeline of our Full Potential plan. We’ve accomplished a lot. There’s no doubt that we’re a better, more disciplined operating company today than we were just two years ago, but we’re not done, and we’ll continue to make progress this year.

So, in closing, we’ll continue our proactive approach, remain agile, and continue to adapt to serve our customers, innovate, and reduce costs, while continuing to execute our long-term transformation strategy. We’re making progress, and we see the path to improving cash flow and margins as the year unfolds.

Before I turn the call over, I want to take a moment to thank Michael for his contributions to Hanesbrands over the past two years. He’s been instrumental in the progress we’ve made to unlock our full potential. Michael’s been a great partner, and I respect his desire to spend more time with his family. To that end, I’m pleased to have Scott Lewis step back into the Interim CFO role. As you all know, Scott held this role before Michael joined the company and performed extremely well. I’m confident in Scott and our entire finance team as we move forward. So thank you both, Michael and Scott.

And with that, I’ll turn the call over to Michael.

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Steve. I really appreciated the opportunity, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two years. I’m confident in the Full Potential plan, and I know you and the company are in great hands with Scott and the entire finance team.

For today’s call, I’ll break my comments into three sections. First, I’ll highlight a couple of key items from our fourth quarter results. Second, I’ll address our debt and our actions to strengthen the balance sheet. And third I’ll provide some thoughts on our 2023 outlook.

With respect to the fourth quarter, I was encouraged by the team’s ability to deliver results that were in line or above our outlook, despite the challenging environment. I’ll point you to the news release for the details, including our segment performance. However, I would like to provide additional context on inventory as well as the noncash adjustment to our deferred tax asset as they drive some of the assumptions in our 2023 outlook.

Starting with inventory, as Steve mentioned, we accomplished our goal as we ended the year with inventory units 6% below prior year. As expected, timeout actions we took in our manufacturing operations to deliver on our goal resulted in a drag of approximately 220 basis points to fourth quarter gross margins. However, by quickly aligning inventory units with demand, we believe we’re positioned to generate better efficiencies and more importantly to release working capital and drive operating cash flow back to more historical levels in 2023.

Looking at deferred taxes, we recorded a reserve in the quarter which was not contemplated in our GAAP guidance. Based on recent results as well as our 2023 outlook, which reflects meaningfully higher interest expense, we were unlikely to utilize this asset in the short term. Therefore, accounting rules required we record a reserve against this asset. Additionally, and related to the deferred tax asset accounting treatment, this will increase accounting tax expense and the effective. Tax rate in 2023. However, I’ll note this reserve is noncash and therefore does not impact our cash taxes.

Next, I’d like to take a moment to address our balance sheet and leverage. We’ve taken a number of proactive steps to further increase our financial flexibility as well as derisk the balance sheet long term. We’ve made a commitment to meaningfully reduce our debt. To accelerate this process, we’ve shifted our capital allocation strategy. We have eliminated the quarterly cash dividend to focus all of our free cash flow, which we define as cash flow from operations less capital expenditures, to pay down debt and bring our leverage back to a range that’s no greater than 2 to 3 times on a net debt to adjusted EBITDA basis.

We also worked with our bank group to adjust our credit facility amendment to provide additional near-term flexibility given the continued uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment. Specifically, we increase the leverage threshold by 1 to 1.5 turns for Q1 through Q3 this year, and we extended the relief period by one quarter, which now runs through the end of the first quarter 2024 summary. Details of the amendment can be found on our IR website. We are also working to derisk the balance sheet in the near term. We’ve already begun the process, and we are working with the necessary parties, and subject to market conditions, we expect to refinance our 2024 maturities in the first quarter of this year.

And now turning to 2023 guidance, I’ll point you to our news release and FAQ document for additional details, but I’d like to share a few thoughts to frame our outlook. At a high level, given the continued macroeconomic uncertainty, we have taken a muted view of consumer demand in 2023. This is expected most pronounced in the first quarter as we overlap last year’s strong results. For Q1 at the midpoint, we expect net sales to decline 11% compared to prior year in constant currency, or 13% on a reported basis. Looking at the full year, we expect net sales to decline 1% in constant currency or approximately 2% on a reported basis as comparisons ease beginning in the second quarter.

With respect to gross and operating margins, as we communicated last quarter, we expect margin pressure to continue through the first half as we sell through the remainder of our high cost inventory. As we move through the second half, particularly the fourth quarter, we expect year-over-year margin improvement as we begin selling lower-cost inventory and we anniversary last year’s manufacturing timeout cost.

Looking at adjusted gross margin for the first quarter, we expect a decline of approximately 300 basis points as compared to prior year. This reflects a headwind of more than 300 basis points from commodity and freight inflation as we continue to sell through our higher cost inventory. For the full year, we expect adjusted gross margin to be flat to slightly down as compared to prior year. In terms of adjusted SG&A, at the midpoint, we expect first quarter SG&A to be relatively consistent with prior year on a dollar basis. However, given the sales outlook, we expect SG&A, which carries a higher fixed cost component, to delever approximately 370 basis points as compared to last year.

For the full year, we expect a slight increase in SG&A dollars. On a percent of sales basis, we expect SG&A leverage to improve over the course of the year as sales comparisons ease. For adjusted operating profit, our outlook is for a range of $500 million to $550 million for the full year and a range of $50 million to $70 million for the first quarter. We expect adjusted interest and other expenses to be nearly $300 million for the full year, an increase from approximately $130 million over prior year. Our outlook assumes that we refinance approximately $1.4 billion of our 2024 maturities at current market rates in the first quarter as well as higher average rate on our variable rate debt. For the first quarter, we expect adjusted interest and other expense to be approximately $65 million.

With respect to taxes, our outlook reflects an adjusted tax expense of approximately $90 million to $100 million for the full year and approximately $17 million to $20 million for the first quarter. With respect to earnings per share, for the full year, we expect adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations to range from $0.31 to $0.42. For the first quarter, we expect adjusted EPS from continuing operations to range from a loss of $0.09 to a loss of $0.04. And lastly, we are well positioned to release working capital and drive operating cash flow back to more historical levels in 2023. For the full year, we expect to generate approximately $500 million in cash from operations.

So, in closing, although the macro-related challenges are masking the progress we’ve made, I’m encouraged by the improvements we’ve made and the actions we’re taking to transform the business. We’re taking steps to meaningfully reduce our debt, we see the path to improving margins by the end of the year as inflation eases, and we benefit from our savings initiatives. We’re driving higher operating cash flow, and we’re continuing the progress on implementing our Full Potential plan. We believe this will drive higher sales, profits and shareholder returns over time.

And with that, I’ll turn the call over to T.C.

T.C. Robillard — Chief Investor Relations Officer

Thanks, Michael. That concludes our prepared remarks. We’ll now begin taking your questions, and we’ll continue as time allows. I’ll turn the call back over to the operator to begin the question-and-answer session. Operator?

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Omar Saad with Evercore ISI. Omar, your line is now open.

Omar Saad — Evercore ISI International Ltd — Analyst

Thanks. Good morning. Thanks for all the information in the update today. I guess I want to ask you about given all the news, new information today, maybe looking at both the business and the capital structure and the leverage position that you’re in, what gives you confidence that things are going to improve from here? Are you finding — on the leverage side, are you finding that the debt markets are open to refi and maybe a little bit of like going back in time and evaluating some of the decisions that were made along the lines, what could be done differently in the future as you guys think about leverage and the underlying nature of the business? Thanks.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Good morning, Omar. Thanks for the question. Let me start with confidence in the business and then we’ll get into capital allocation, I have a lot of confidence in this business, and we continue to improve upon the foundational capabilities of the business. If I go back and I look at a little short-term history, we came out of ’21 really strong. First quarter ’22 was really strong, and we felt good about the business. And obviously, things pivoted in the macroenvironment in Q2, and we’ve had a lot of headwinds since that point. But the foundational capabilities of the company that we’ve been putting into place through Full Potential plan continue to improve.

And I really believe we’re a stronger company today than we were. Process improvements are better. We have a lot new and expanded supply chain capabilities, new leadership team particularly across activewear, our innovation pipeline is stronger, and we continue to make the investments that need to be made in the long-term in company, particularly in things like technology. And so as you go into ’23, I think we have foundational capabilities that are going to continue to get stronger, but we’re facing continued headwinds certainly on the top line. We think the consumer challenge is going to stick around for a while. So we have a bit of a muted look forward in ’23 at the top line, but I’m encouraged to see that our margins are going to improve as we come into the back half of the year as that more expensive cost of goods start to roll through the P&L, and we get the better stuff that’s we’re making right now, and we’re going to return to cash flow positive. So the foundational fundamental operating in the company I think is better today than it was. And I think there’s a lot of upside as we go forward as we continue to invest, continue to make good decisions, both for the short term and for the long term.

Now capital allocation, as I said, we’re going to return to positive cash flow this year, and I believe and we’re confident in the long-term cash flow generation of the company. But as we look at where we are, when we look at the capital structure of the company, and we look at being able to build as much flexibility into the balance sheet going forward, we thought it was prudent to make a shift in how we’re thinking about allocating that capital. Number one priority remains investing in the business. We believe in the plan that we have where we continue to invest to build the capabilities that we need, but we are making a shift for our free cash flow to focus on debt reduction, which means the elimination of the dividend as we announced. We think between investing in the business and paying down debt is what’s going to position us in the long run for the best shareholder returns. We’re going to be thoughtful about allocation as we go forward. As things change, we’ll obviously always continue to look at it both in the short term and the long term, but we think that’s the right position for us to be in today.

Omar Saad — Evercore ISI International Ltd — Analyst

Got it. Thanks. Good luck.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Omar.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Tom Nikic with Wedbush. Your line is now open.

Tom Nikic — Wedbush Securities Inc. — Analyst

Hey, good morning. Thanks for taking my question. So I wanted to ask about I guess the top line progression for the year. So I think obviously retailers are still planning inventories pretty conservatively to start 2023 and I think you’ve guided to a big decline in Q1 and the guidance implies things to get better later on in the year. Do you think that the retailer inventory actions are pretty much done in Q1, and at that point inventories will be rebased to where they need to be and then that positions you for a more favorable top line environment? I guess I’m just trying to think like how the shape of the year looks like. Would you expect the Q2 to be down as well? Just trying to figure out how we should think about the recovery on the top line.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think the way you should think about it — first start at the top is we’re seeing a muted view of the consumer this year in terms of their draw from the category, which is going to be a challenge as we go forward. And underneath that when you look at retail inventory, it really varies by the business that we’re in. When you look at the innerwear business, certainly we’re in a replenishment business. So when retailers take significant inventory action to reduce inventory across the board in apparel, the replenishment businesses can get impacted first. We saw that happen and we’ll would continue to work through that. Even though we look at our inventory levels, which is below where we were in innerwear versus Q1 of last year.

So we see opportunity to continue to build that inventory back. I would expect you would see the innerwear business start to rebuild and inventory start to rebuild faster than you would necessarily an activewear. In activewear, there’s still pockets that have a lot of inventory out there. It does vary by channel. It does vary by customer. And some have been more promotional in driving inventory faster than others, some have managed the inventory a little better than others. So it’s a bit of a hit and miss. So I think fleece will take a little bit of time to continue to work itself through the system, but we’re going into the year with a conservative view of the consumer and the top line.

Tom Nikic — Wedbush Securities Inc. — Analyst

Understood. Thank you, very much.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Michael Binetti with Credit Suisse. Your line is now open.

Michael Binetti — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Hey, guys. Hope you can hear me okay. So I guess with that in mind to jump off of that question, can you give us an indication of — you gave us the thoughts on the replenishment and working through inventory, but maybe your thoughts on how Champion fall order books look. I want to see what maybe the response to some of the new product is. Obviously, there’s a lot of factors at play here, but I guess what factors are you looking for to help you anticipate when restocking can begin in the mass channel in the U.S.?

And then my final one is, I think you said inventory units down 6% with the dollars up 25%. I just want to make sure I heard that correctly because that seems to imply something like price per unit up in the 30% range. Maybe just walk me through that if I’m missing anything obvious.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So in terms of restocking in the mass channel, we talk to our customers and our partners closely all the time and understand where they are. We’re also working very closely to find specific opportunities. There’s always different pockets by different customer, by different product to be able to use the data and analytics that we’re building to find those opportunities.

So I would expect those channels to probably come back faster than others. But again, it ties back to the consumer, and obviously, we all want to match shipments, they want to match shipments to POS, we want to match shipments to POS so we don’t end up with big pockets of inventory to the positive or to the negative. So as we see, relatively conservative view of consumer demand, we’re trying to match inventory to that point. So that should come back late first quarter, early second quarter, we get back to a more normalized matching of POS to shipments as we go forward.

In terms of inventory, yeah, dollars are up about 25%. When you think about that difference versus units, it’s about half inflation and the other half would be roughly mix. So if you think about unit cost, you’re probably up in the low-to-mid teens when you average all that out.

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Yeah, and good morning, Michael. This is Scott. Just to add a couple of things to the inventory. I feel like we were in a really good shape from the health of the inventory. I think we’re in good shape there. The vast majority of the inventory is replenishment in nature, so the quality of inventory is really good. And as you think about inventory itself, we’ve been very proactive in managing our inventory levels. Like we talked about earlier in the prepared remarks, we took time out at our manufacturing facilities. We opted to exit a couple of manufacturing facilities as we were optimizing our manufacturing network. So that really positions us really well going into ’23 and it should drive working capital benefits as we move over the course of ’23. So we feel good about it. Again, units were down. We met our goal of our units being down 6% compared to last year, and we’re not stopping there. We’re looking to reduce units again to really drive working capital benefit as we move forward.

Michael Binetti — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Thanks, guys.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Ike Boruchow with Wells Fargo.

Ike Boruchow — Wells Fargo Securities, LLC — Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys. A couple quick housekeeping questions on the model. On the elevated interest, the $130 million, is there any way you could break out how much of that is from the variable debt versus how much is the expectation on the refi? On the tax rate, I think if my math is right, that’s like an implied 40% rate. I understand the dynamic this year. I’m just curious like when we go past this year into deferred tax dynamic, does that tax rate revert back to I believe your high-teens run rate once we get through there. And the last one just on the inventory, is there a way — I think you’re saying that the inventory is going to be a cash benefit this year? Is there like an inventory dollar amount you can let us know or something you can let us know by year end on your expectation on the balance sheet? Thank you.

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Ike, this is Michael. With regard to the interest, because it factors in financing, there’s a number of different scenarios that could play out between the mix between fixed and floating. So I think we’ll just stick with the $300 million at this point. As we work through the financing then there would probably be a lot more granularity or certainty we could provide you about what’s the ultimate fixed-floating mix there.

Let’s see with regard to your question on the tax rate, yes, the effective tax rate as you look at 2023 is in the area of 40% to 45%. And what will happen — I’m not sure I caught the tail end of the comments you were making, but as you think about this deferred tax accounting, what will happen over time is that it will return to normalized levels, but it could take several number of years. And once again, it does not have an impact on the cash tax payments. So for perspective, the cash tax payments in 2023 are expected to be in the neighborhood of $90 million to $100 million, which is essentially where they were in 2022 and 2021.

So the last question was on inventory.

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Yeah. And I’ll make that one, Michael. So on inventory, we don’t guide to specific target of the inventory by the end of the year. But, again, let’s say, talking about expectations in working capital is going to drive a lot of the benefit from a cash flow perspective. And I know you’ve been with us a while, so you know the cadence of our inventory. As we look into first half, we typically use cash in the first half as we are supporting the back-to-school season and looking to drop that inventory down over the course of the rest of the year.

And as you think about our cash flow, again, we’re guiding to $500 million. That’s a good mix, but again heavy working capital benefit and the net income that drops from a profitability standpoint. But we again feel really good about the cadence and being able to drive that working capital benefit to really revert back into a good position from a cash standpoint.

Ike Boruchow — Wells Fargo Securities, LLC — Analyst

Got it. Super helpful. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Paul Kearney with Barclays.

Paul Kearney — Barclays Bank PLC — Analyst

Hey, good morning. Thanks for taking my question. Can you talk a little bit more about what’s embedded behind maybe your segments in the full year guidance for sales for innerwear versus activewear? And then where are you seeing pricing and promotion shaking out through the year to offset any of the costs during the first half? And lastly, when do you expect to achieve the target leverage range? Thanks.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So in terms of the mix of the guide, if you will, by segment, the way I think you should think about it is we’ll be roughly consistent across the segments for the total company guide, so no meaningful outliers across the three segments. In terms of pricing and promotion in the market, I think two different businesses. We’re looking at the start of Q1 for innerwear particularly less promo than we see in the lower promotional environment. Retailers I think are working to recover some of their gross margin and in the innerwear space if there was any distressed inventory, I think most of that’s been worked through. So I think you’ll start to see a normal cadence of promo where Q1 is always less than Q4 on a natural basis.

On the activewear side, it really varies by channel and by customer. There’s I’m seeing there’s low in some areas, high in others. So it just depends on where that individual customer is. There is still lots of fleece out there in the market and some of that is aged. So I think you’re going to continue to see some promotion around that space, but we would expect that the promotional environment would begin to drop as the quarter progresses. And then…

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I think with regard to below — we would be below 3 times by 2025, essentially a couple years from now.

Paul Kearney — Barclays Bank PLC — Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Jay Sole with UBS.

Jay Sole — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Great. Thank you so much. My question is on SG&A in the Full Potential plan. Maybe, Steve, can you just walk us through how much of the expected SG&A savings have already been realized in ’22, maybe how much more you expect in ’23 and ’24? If you just give us an update there, that’d be super helpful. Thank you.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, there’s a lot of activity going on in the SG&A space and it’s a balance of savings and investments. And I want to be clear that part of the Full Potential plan is we’re leaning into the areas of the business that we need to continue to grow. Technology spend is going to continue to build, some of that’s expense, some of that’s capital. But we’re going to continue to invest in that space.

But we are taking near-term action. We did do a headcount reduction in January. We are looking at other opportunities for us to continue to take costs out of our networks and be as efficient as we possibly can. We’re looking carefully at spending this year. We’ve been investing in our brands, but we’re going to be thoughtful and spend at the rate of consumer demand out there as we go forward.

But when you look at our model, when you look at the P&L of this company, the big savings that we need to continue to generate or revert back to where we were is in cost of goods. We need to regain the margins that we had before COVID, before all the inflation hit, and that’s our focus, and we’re doing that through optimizing our network. We’re looking at sourcing and our contracts and how we source. We’re consolidating vendors. We’re looking at all the different parts of our network to continue to improve. And we think we can do that. As I said, we reconfirm the commitment of a mid-14% op margin in the Full Potential plan, and we’re going to continue to work costs across the board.

Jay Sole — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Got it. Okay. And if I can follow up with one more. Champion has been touched on in the call, but if you could still elaborate a little bit more about where the headwinds are in ’23 maybe in terms of channel or geography and then maybe talk about where some of the opportunities are for growth perhaps beyond that, that’d be helpful as well.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. And as I said, we expect it to be relatively consistent across all the segments. As I look at the market right now and look at how the consumers responding on a global basis. Obviously, you know the U.S. market inflation, while it’s softening, we still see it as well above historical levels and it’s going to continue to impact the U.S. consumer and their spending decisions, particularly in the lower income consumers.

As you look back, we would expect the mass channel trend to start to improve. We are seeing decent POS early in January, which we’re seeing as encouraging. We’re running positive in most accounts. But as we talked earlier, shipments are still lagging, so there’s some optimism there. When I look at our European market, it’s similar to the U.S., still challenging. Their consumer sentiment is still low, so cautious in the retail environment there.

Asia is mixed. Obviously, there’s a degree of opening up, so we’re seeing signs of improving traffic in large stores in Japan, which are heavy travel dependent, China opening up with its COVID policy, so that’ll help us get traffic back into our stores there, although because those stores have been closed for so long, it’s sitting on inventory from the past, so we have to work through that.

And Australia, I would say, it’s lagging the U.S. a little bit in terms of its evolution going through the inflation. But we’ve got a really strong D2C network there and really strong brand portfolios and they’re working hard on innovation. So similar consumer headwinds, but the D2C network there is relatively well positioned.

Jay Sole — UBS Investment Bank, AG — Analyst

Got it. Thank you so much.

Operator

Our next question comes from a line of Paul Lejuez with Citi.

Paul Lejuez — Citigroup, Inc. — Analyst

Hey. Thanks, guys. Just a couple. You had some big changes in your working capital this year. I’m curious which of those line items came in better or worse than you had initially expected — I shouldn’t say initially. Just even as of the last quarter. And maybe you could talk a little bit more about what your assumptions are for this year on some of those major items, inventory, accounts payable, just the ones that you think can move the dial most in terms of generating that $500 million of cash from operations?

And then also, separate, just what percent of your items this year were manufactured internally? How does that look for ’23? Any change in your thinking about the right structure in terms of how much you do internally versus externally? Thanks.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Let me take it in reverse order. Let me start with manufacturing. We manufacture internally 60% to 70% of our units, which has been relatively consistent over the years, fluctuates a little bit. As Scott mentioned earlier, we did take two facilities offline over the last couple months. That was primarily driven by efficiency, not volume. So we’re working hard to make all of our facilities more efficient over time. And as we build those efficiencies, increased capacity allows us to streamline the network as we go forward.

We’re always looking to balance our internal versus external. And with the supply chain innovation that we’ve been doing as part of the Full Potential plan, we have new capabilities inside our supply chain to separate replenishment product versus made-to-order product versus fast chase [Phonetic] product. So the capabilities that we have there allow us to make certain things better and faster, but as we continue to innovate and as we continue to move into new materials and as we continue to be a faster moving company in certain parts of our business, we will look to continue to use strategic partners, to use those products, and we may internalize them over time, but we’re going to find that right balance as we go forward. And if it’s a product that we think we can make it cheaper and more effectively internally, and we’ve done a lot of benchmarking on that, we will continue to do that. And if it’s smaller runs, maybe new materials, maybe a more difficult design, we’ll look to outsource that over time. But the mix is staying relatively same for now.

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Good morning. Thanks for your question. So as far as the cash flow for ’22 and working capital, everything was pretty much in line with what we expected as far as the contributions and working capital. Like we talked about earlier with the inventory, we came in, achieved our goal of lower units at the end of the year, so we came in pretty much in line with where our expectation is going to be.

As you move to ’23, and like I mentioned earlier, really looking to drive working capital benefit and across the board, I would say in particular, inventory is going to drive that benefit and just the accounts payable and the relationship as the timing of procurement and production is throughout the year, we’re expecting some benefits over the course of the year from the payable standpoint.

Paul Lejuez — Citigroup, Inc. — Analyst

Got it. [Indecipherable] change in terms on your payables that have occurred over the last year?

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

No changes in terms.

Paul Lejuez — Citigroup, Inc. — Analyst

All right. Thank you. Good luck.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, the one thing I would say about — you got to remember with payables to inventory is that when the business is accelerating like it was late last year, you get incredible payable leverage in terms of when you’re sourcing and manufacturing. And if you looked at the balance sheet at the end of ’21, I think we were like 76% payable to inventory. When you think about what we did in the back half of 2022, we significantly decelerated, right. We took production out, we took time out. And when you look at the balance sheet where I think we’re about 46% payables to inventory, and it’s really it’s because we were pulling back, but you’re still paying your vendors.

When you get to a more normalized environment in terms of 2023, instead of those two extremes, I think you’re going to be more in that 50%, 60% area in terms of payables to inventory. And so when you’re trying to do the math, I think that’s something to keep in mind is that as you get into a more normalized situation, the payables goes back to a normal relationship with inventory.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of David Swartz with Morningstar. David, your line is now open. David, your line is now open.

David Swartz — Morningstar, Inc. — Analyst

I apologize for that. Sorry about that.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, David.

David Swartz — Morningstar, Inc. — Analyst

Can you give us some more information on Champion, what gives you some confidence that it’s going to recover and what the categories for Champions seem to be stronger and weaker right now? And also secondly, on the dividend, can you give us some indication on when you might revisit a decision to suspend the dividend? It seems to be that the dividend was eliminated due to the lower EBITDA, and so maybe when EBITDA returns to more normal levels. Perhaps you’ll revisit the decision to suspend it. Thanks.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Sure, David. Let me talk about Champion first. I’m really confident in Champion, and see a big opportunity in the brand. Obviously, there’s some work to do right now, but we have a new team in place. They’re building the foundation for both revenue and margin growth. And I think that’s growth beyond the timeline of our Full Potential plan. They’re moving fast, really focused on brand purpose, brand desire, operational effectiveness, and to drive sustainable and profitable growth, around product design and merchandising, increased speed to market. They’ve already taken three months out of our global design calendar. Really working on global product and channel segmentation to really provide clarity for consumers and retailers on what the portfolio is and what the brand stands for.

D2C is a early opportunity. We’ve made progress. I think if you look at our site, it’s much better than it was, say, a year ago, but it’s not where it needs to be. Footwear is still a big opportunity, and then there’s opportunities just across the portfolio, in general.

So near-term, there are some challenges in the brand as we continue to work through inventory. But the team is being very aggressive. We’re going to see good growth in Asia, led by Japan. The collegiate channel has rebounded. We’ve talked about that over a number of calls in the past two years, and we expect it to continue to grow as we go forward. And we’re reaching new campuses. We’re in a much deeper relationship with those campuses. We’ve got good merchandising capabilities in that space. We’re seeing good student response. We’re seeing positive price/mix in that area. So lots of good things there, and we’re going to continue to focus on channel strategy and being really specific about where we need to go.

And early on, we’re getting good response from our retailers. They like where we’re going. They want this brand to win. They think it plays a really important role for them, and they like the work that we’re doing going forward. So work to be done on the brand but confident in where it can go and what it stands for and the work that the team is doing. And we’re starting to see some interesting innovation and reverse weaves and some new product for our pinnacle [Phonetic] accounts. Our TSP product from innerwear is going to crossover and now go into the Champion business this year. We’re working on the absorbency category for Champion as well as our innerwear business. So innovation is coming. We’re going to continue to lean into innovation, continue to build the brand, continue to be a more disciplined operating company around the brand and how we go to market. And I’m confident that it’s going to continue to improve, but we have work to do this year for sure.

And then on the dividend, I think what’s clear to know is our focus right now is around paying down debt. And that’s what we announced today and that’s where we’re going to put our free cash flow. Look, the board is always evaluating capital allocation both the short term and the long term. But right now, our focus is on reducing debt. And we think if we reduce debt and we continue to deliver against the Full Potential plan, that’s what will drive the higher shareholder returns in the long run.

David Swartz — Morningstar, Inc. — Analyst

Did the market require you to eliminate your dividend for the refinancing?

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

No, the amendment — the basket does allow us to pay a dividend of up to $75 million annually. So, to Steve’s point, we thought it was prudent to utilize all of the cash after we’ve made the investments in the business to retire debt.

David Swartz — Morningstar, Inc. — Analyst

Okay. Thanks for all the information today. Thanks.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of William Reuter with Bank of America.

William Reuter — BofA Securities, Inc. — Analyst

Good morning. I have two. The first is there was good commentary when you broke out the difference between inventory units and what amount of that was due to higher average unit cost. When you look at this year, what you’re seeing in terms of lower cotton cost as well as lower freight, how should we think about where your average unit cost might be, I don’t know, six months from now or towards the end of the year?

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I don’t know that we’re going to give you specific guidance, but I think I would tell you that the cost that we are seeing today in terms of either what we manufacture, the input cost for cotton, for freight, those costs are coming down. And so you will see the margins in Q3 and especially in Q4 start to improve because our costs are coming down currently relative to where we were 6 to 12 months ago.

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Yeah. We’re seeing lower commodity costs, lower freight costs. All that, against, the units that we’re producing today, that will again, as we talked about in the earlier remarks, from a margin standpoint, as you look over the course of the year, I’m very encouraged with the trends. You’re going to see a sequential improvement in margins throughout the year as we are again selling off the higher cost inventory in the first half. And as you get into the second half, especially in the fourth quarter, you’re going to see some really positive margin trend as we go into late in the year and as we move into next year. Also, we have foreign currency from a transactional standpoint from headwinds in the first half. That’ll subside in the back half. So a lot of positive trends that we’re going to see in margins as you move into the latter part of the year.

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

The one thing I would just add to that, Scott, also is we have a 200 basis points of headwind from the timeout that we took in Q3 and Q4 of last year. So you don’t have that headwind as well. So when you take that headwind going away, when you take the change that we’re seeing right now, we would expect to see, as you said, the sequential margin improvement going forward.

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Yeah. The cost savings initiatives, all those things are adding up to really a positive trend as you look late in the year and as you move forward.

William Reuter — BofA Securities, Inc. — Analyst

Okay. And I guess related to that, the timing lag between when cash costs are incurred versus when those hit the P&L, what’s that lag typically like?

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Around two to three quarters depending on the product.

William Reuter — BofA Securities, Inc. — Analyst

Okay. And then just lastly for me. You mentioned addressing the ’24s in the first quarter. Is there a situation or set of circumstances where you would consider addressing the ’26s at the same time?

Stephen B. Bratspies — Chief Executive Officer

I would say right now we’re focused on the 2024 maturities.

William Reuter — BofA Securities, Inc. — Analyst

Got it. Okay. Thank you very much.

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Carla Casella with JP Morgan.

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Great. My follow on Bill’s question around that refinancing. Your thoughts on whether you’re looking in the bank market versus the bonds, do you have capacity to do either bank or bonds or secured bonds?

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Carla, this is Michael. As you can appreciate, we can’t really discuss that at this point, but we do think that we have flexibility to access a number of the markets.

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay, great. And then a couple costs questions. The facility timeout, is that all behind you now or could that also affect 1Q?

Scott Lewis — Chief Accounting Officer.

That’s all behind us. We recorded all the charges, costs associated with that in ’22, so nothing going forward that’ll impact ’23.

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay. And then on SG&A, I think I heard it correctly that you expect the dollar amount of SG&A to be up year over year. And I’m just — I was a little surprised given all the work you’re doing around Full Potential. So could you give us any more clarity there?

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Good morning, Carla. Thanks for the question there on the SG&A. I think you’re exactly right. The dollars are — and there’s some puts and takes for SG&A. Couple things to consider from a higher cost standpoint. We will have higher incentives, variable compensation cost in ’22. We didn’t have a payout in line with the performance. As we move into ’23, we expect to have a payout there. So you have a higher cost associated with that.

And also have a higher technology investment. So we’re going to continue to invest moving forward with our technology transformation initiatives that we’ll have those. Offsetting that is what Steve mentioned earlier, we have been laser focused on controlling costs, took action in January — corporate headcount actions there to reduce costs there. So we are again laser focused on cost control, discretionary spending.

From a leverage standpoint, again, over the course of the year that should improve as the sales comparison eases.

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay. And then just one on the amendment, just because I can’t find the document yet, but you said you’ve increased the flexibility by 1 to 1.5 turns over the next three quarters. Should we assume it goes up by 1 in the first quarter and then by 1.5 and then 2 peak quarters, is that the way to think about it?

Michael Dastugue — Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So, as an example, Q1 of ’23 goes to 6.75, Q2 goes to 7.25, Q3 goes to 6.75, Q4 goes to 5.25. Q1 of 2024 goes to five. And then the amendment period is over.

Carla Casella — JPMorgan — Analyst

Okay.

Operator

That concludes today’s question-and-answer session. I’d like to turn the call back to T.C. Robillard for closing remarks.

T.C. Robillard — Chief Investor Relations Officer

We’d like to thank everyone for attending the call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon. Have a great day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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