By  on March 27, 2012

NEW YORK — Double-digit growth at Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein supplied more than enough ammunition to help PVH Corp. overcome lingering weakness in its Izod sportswear business and post fourth-quarter profits above its own estimates and those of Wall Street.

Investors were heartened by revised guidance from the New York-based apparel powerhouse calling for adjusted earnings of between $6.10 and $6.20 for the full year, ahead of the $5.90 to $6 projection provided in January. PVH said profit growth would be “heavily weighted” toward the second half of the year, in contrast to its projection two months ago that earnings expansion would “occur entirely in the second half of the year.”

In the three months ended Jan. 29, net income grew 55.7 percent to $81.2 million, or $1.11 a diluted share, from $52.2 million, or 72 cents, in the prior-year quarter. Stripping out nonrecurring items ranging from costs associated with the acquisition and integration of Tommy Hilfiger to the early termination of its Timberland license following the brand’s acquisition by VF Corp., adjusted EPS for the quarter was $1.18, or 8 cents above analysts’ consensus estimate.

Revenues in the quarter rose 9.6 percent to $1.53 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago, with respective increases of 15.8 percent and 11.9 percent in the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein businesses, to $815.8 million and $278.5 million. Those gains were offset by a 1.4 percent decline in sales of its Heritage Brands group, to $438.5 million. While its Heritage Dress Furnishings business grew well, up 8.5 percent to $145.6 million, difficulties at Izod lowered the group’s sportswear sales by 17 percent to $121.1 million and were the principal culprit in a 54.8 percent drop in its operating income, which fell to $9.7 million.

Together, the company’s two designer brands generated $1.09 billion in fourth quarter income, representing 71.4 percent of the company total, versus $953.6 million, or 68.2 percent, a year ago. Similarly, Tommy Hilfiger’s operating income rose 62.2 percent to $55.7 million while Calvin Klein’s expanded 6.2 percent to $70.2 million.

Emanuel Chirico, chairman and chief executive officer of PVH, commented, “Despite the uncertainty that has been impacting the overall market, we are optimistic that the strength of our brands, driven by Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, will continue to generate solid revenue and profitability growth in 2012.”

He added an optimistic note about Heritage Brands, projecting revenue growth of 2 to 3 percent for the year, and asserting that “more favorable product costs in the second half of 2012 will benefit these businesses and allow them to gradually return to their historical levels of profitability.”

For the full year, net income increased nearly sixfold, to $317.9 million, or $4.36 a diluted share, as revenues expanded 27 percent to $5.89 billion.

The company will hold a conference call today to discuss the results.

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