American clothing group VF, owner of Antwerp fashion brand Kipling, has managed a 3.5 billion dollar (2.75 billion euro) turnover in its third quarter: that is a 7 % increase. It expects an even bigger full-year increase of 8 %.
Outdoor brands perform well
Particularly VF's outdoor brands performed well: turnover grew 11 % to 2.2 billion dollars (1.7 billion euro). Timberland grew 15 %: its American performance (+ 22 %) outdid Europe's performance (+ 15 %), while the Asia-Oceania region only managed a low single-digit growth.
Shoe brand Vans grew 12 % thanks to a nearly 40 % Asian turnover increase. Europe managed a 15 % increase, while the Americas only grew slightly. The North Face went up 9 % compared to 2013, again thanks to Asia (+ 15 %) and the Americas (+ 10 %). European growth was below 5 %.
Jeans brands (with Wrangler and Lee among others) represented a 750 million dollar (nearly 600 million euro) turnover. On a like-for-like basis, turnover grew some 2 %. Wrangler (+ 3 %) outperformed the average turnover growth.
Imagewear (+ 3 % to 293 million dollars - 229 million euro) and sports clothing (+ 5 % to 163 million dollars - 128 million euro) complete the picture.
Margins up thanks to bigger premium brand sales
VF expects a full-year 12.3 billion dollar (9.6 billion euro) turnover, 8 % up compared to 2013. Profitability also grew: gross margin grew 0.7 % to 48.3 %, thanks to a sales shift towards brands with bigger margins.
Partly thanks to that, third quarter's net profit grew from 433.8 million dollars (340 million euro) to 470.5 million dollars (370 million euro).