The first quarter had its ups and downs for Levi Strauss & Co.
While operational improvements spurred double-digit earnings gains, continued weakness in the European retail market combined with a slowdown at a key U.S. retailer hobbled sales results. For the three months ended Feb. 26, the San Francisco-based denim giant saw earnings rise 13.7 percent to $53.8 million, compared with earnings of $47.3 million in the same period a year ago.
While the company made improvements on selling, general and administrative expenses, earnings gains were ultimately fueled by the absence of hefty charges related to the early extinguishment of debt, which fell to $7,000 from $23 million. Warnings of a slow start to 2006 that management had made when announcing year-end results in February proved prescient. Gains in licensing revenues weren’t able to overcome significant sales declines at retail.
Overall revenues for the quarter fell 5.8 percent to $960 million compared with revenues of $1.02 billion in the year-ago period. Sales fell 6.5 percent to $940.2 million compared with $1 billion in the year-ago period.
As has been the case since the second quarter of 2005, Europe’s poor retail environment was cited as having the biggest impact on sales. That said, the Levi Strauss Signature brand, which has been a rapid growth vehicle for the company and posted the largest gains in 2005, showed its first signs of weakness.
“We lost some fixtures at U.S. Wal-Mart stores to private label, but continued to grow the Levi Strauss Signature brand with other retail customers and gain share overall in the channel,” Phil Marineau, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia