VF EARNINGS GROW 5.7 PERCENT IN SECOND QUARTER

Byline: CATHERINE M. CURAN

NEW YORK — Boosted by strength in jeans, VF Corp. reported profits rose 5.7 percent in the second quarter ended July 2.
VF earned $58.9 million, or 90 cents a share, in the quarter, against $55.7 million, or 85 cents. Sales jumped 12.6 percent to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion.
Chairman Lawrence R. Pugh said the plus results were achieved despite the “mixed news on the apparel front these past few months.” He said global expansion and product diversity, along with value and customer service, gave VF a competitive edge and will “contribute to improving comparisons over the remaining two quarters of 1994.”
A breakdown of results in the quarter by division showed jeanswear operating earnings up 22.1 percent to $90.4 million, with sales up 4.2 percent to $618.5 million. In decorated knitwear, operating losses widened to $2.6 million from $2 million. Decorated knitwear sales jumped 61.5 percent to $128.8 million, reflecting the addition of Nutmeg and H.H. Cutler, and strong demand for Bassett-Walker’s blank T-shirts and fleece. Intimate apparel operating profits fell 18.4 percent to $12.6 million, while sales rose 4.9 percent to $172.2 million. Domestic intimate apparel operations performed well in the quarter, with momentum from new product introductions and increased manufacturing efficiencies at Vanity Fair Mills offset by a difficult business climate overseas.
Playwear profits jumped 30.8 percent to $7.9 million, while sales increased 56.3 percent to $81.6 million. Specialty apparel profits were up 15.5 percent to $22.7 million, and sales rose 12.9 percent to $185.3 million.
Gerard G. Johnson, chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview that jeans performed better than expected, decorated knitwear was a little weaker and other divisions were basically on plan. He said the company’s earnings were in line with analysts’ estimates. Overall, Johnson said he expects the second half to have “more of the same in all the businesses” and added that VF is comfortable with analysts’ estimates of $4.08 a share for the year. In 1993, per-share earnings came to $3.80.
In the half, earnings were up 3.1 percent to $111.8 million, or $1.71, from $108.5 million, or $1.68. Sales rose 11.6 percent to $2.3 billion, from $2.1 billion.
In the six months, jeanswear operating profits rose 13.3 percent to $171 million, with sales up 2.4 percent to $1.2 billion. Decorated knitwear losses widened to $8 million from $5.3 million, and sales climbed 72.4 percent to $245.7 million.
Intimate apparel profits dipped 3.8 percent to $30.1 million, while sales rose 3.9 percent to $347.1 million. Playwear profits surged 61.3 percent to $14.1 million, with sales jumping 64 percent to $159.4 million. Specialty apparel earnings rose 11.5 percent to $42.4 million, while sales advanced 10 percent to $349.8 million.
— Fairchild News Service

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