Lifted by continuing strength in its Outdoor & Action Sports coalition, VF Corp. reported a 9.9 percent increase in first-quarter profits and a 6.5 percent boost in quarterly revenues.
Both the top and bottom lines exceeded analysts’ consensus expectations. The Greensboro, N.C.-based apparel giant boosted its full-year earnings and revenue guidance.
In the three months ended March 29, net income reached $297.2 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, up from $270.4 million, or 60 cents, in the comparable period last year. Analysts on average had expected EPS of 63 cents.
Revenues rose to $2.78 billion from $2.61 billion, with sales at the Outdoor & Action Sports group, the company’s largest, ahead 14 percent to $1.57 billion. Within the outdoor group, Vans revenues were up 20 percent and were the highest of any brand in the VF portfolio.
The North Face sales rose 14 percent, with its direct-to-consumer component ahead almost 30 percent, while Timberland sales rose 12 percent.
Strength in outdoor was offset somewhat by weakness in the Jeanswear coalition, where sales fell 4 percent, to $690.3 million, and were down at a high-single-digit rate in the Americas as department and midtier stores struggled with the denim classification. Similarly, Contemporary coalition sales were off 5 percent to $98 million as Seven For All Mankind struggled against a “challenging premium denim market,” the company said.
International sales were up 11 percent, 10 percent in constant currency, while direct-to-consumer sales were up 16 percent, including double-digit gains in all regions.
Gross margin checked in at 49.4 percent of sales, up 130 basis points from a year ago and the highest measure for any quarter in VF’s history. VF said margins increased in all of its coalitions.
“VF’s first-quarter results reflect the continued strength of our brands and our global business platforms,” said Eric Wiseman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of VF. “Led by outstanding performance from the Outdoor & Action Sports coalition, which had balanced growth across all channels and geographies, we delivered strong growth in revenue and profitability.”
In updated guidance, VF now expects full-year EPS of about $3.06, 1 cent higher than the top of its previous range of between $3 and $3.05, and revenue expansion at the higher end of its previous guidance for an increase of between 7 and 8 percent.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast