NEW YORK — Although Levi Strauss & Co. is a private company, it regularly releases financial results because of its large employee stock program.
In its first quarter ended Feb. 27, Levi Strauss reported that operating income declined 16 percent, to $196.9 million from $233.5 million a year ago. However, after an accounting charge for post-retirement benefits slightly offset by a gain from adopting a new method of income tax accounting, there was a bottom line loss of $125.8 million, its first quarterly loss since 1986. In the 1993 quarter, Levi earned $132.7 million.
Sales slipped 4 percent, to $1.3 billion from $1.4 billion.
The company said operating profits were depressed by weak sales in the U.S., where sales declined 11 percent to $756 million. The U.S. weakness mainly reflected a poor showing in men’s jeans and men’s and women’s Dockers apparel.
Sales outside the U.S. increased 7 percent, to $586.2 million and grew to account for 44 percent of sales against 39 percent a year earlier, fueled by continuing strong demand for basic denim in Europe.
For the year ended Nov. 28, net income before a non-recurring year-ago charge increased 14.4 percent to $131.6 million. Sales rose 6 percent to $5.9 billion.
Businesses outside the U.S. contributed 37 percent of total sales last year, but represented 54 percent of 1993 profit contribution, mainly due to higher overall average unit selling prices.