The North Face Black Series

VF Corp. took a hard hit in the fiscal first quarter, but Steve Rendle, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company is positioned to build on its strengths

Losses for the quarter ended June 27 totaled $285.6 million, down from earnings of $49.2 million a year earlier, as revenues fell 47.5 percent to $1.1 billion from $2.1 billion 

Sales at Vans declined 52 percent while The North Face was off 45 percent, Timberland was down 43 percent and the work-oriented Dickies decreased 16 percent.

The picture was brighter online and VF’s digital revenues jumped 78 percent as customers stayed home and clicked.

In Greater China, where the coronavirus first took hold and started to disrupt commerce in late January, revenues were flat for the quarter, with a 5 percent increase in Mainland China.

“VF is built for this moment, which is what gives us continued confidence and optimism,” Rendle said. “Our financial and operational rigor, the affinity consumers have for our iconic brands, and the progress we’ve made in recent years with our digital transformation have us well-positioned to not only manage the complexities of the current environment, but to drive long-term growth. As we continue through our fiscal year, we’ll build on the strengths we’re already seeing in the core elements of our strategy, including maintaining our strong cash and liquidity position and further accelerating our digital business worldwide, especially in China.”

VF has taken a “fortress balance sheet” approach to stocking up during the coronavirus crisis and, in keeping with its long history of dealmaking, is also keeping a keen eye out for opportunities in the market.

The company ended the quarter with $2.1 billion in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet, a big jump from the $561 million held a year earlier.

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