Levi Strauss revenue jumps 14%
Levi Strauss & Co. has reported full-year net revenues of $5.6 billion, an increase of 14 percent compared to the prior year, driven by sales in Europe and the Americas.
Chip Bergh, president and CEO deemed the fiscal year ended November 25, 2018, as “an outstanding year”. “It’s clear our strategies to diversify our product portfolio, expand our direct-to-consumer business, and deepen our connection with consumers worldwide have worked, resulting in both higher annual revenues and gross margins," Bergh said. The Americas recorded a net revenue increase of 10 percent to $3.04 billion compared to $2.77 billion in the previous year, reflecting higher continued growth in the wholesale channel driven by Signature and Levi's brands, and the strong performance of the company-operated retail network. Internationally, Levi's also soared in Europe and Asia where gains of 25 percent and 8 percent were reported, respectively, excluding currency effects. Overall, the company operated 74 more stores at the end of fiscal 2018 than it did at the end of fiscal 2017. As a result, net revenues related to the company's direct-to-consumer business grew 18 for the full year and 13 percent for the fourth quarter thanks to increased sales in its expanded network of company-operated locations. Net revenues in the company's wholesale business were also up 11 percent for the full year and 7 for the fourth quarter, primarily reflecting higher revenues from the Americas and Europe. Meanwhile, total fourth-quarter net revenue was up by 9 percent (11 percent in constant currencies), totaling $1.59 billion, compared to the $1.47 billion reported in the prior-year period. In the Americas, quarterly net revenues rose 8 percent, while in Europe, growth was 13 percent and in Asia 5 percent. Strong growth in Europe over the course of the quarter was pushed by progress in the company's women's and tops businesses, while rising wholesale and direct-to-consumer revenues in the Americas were partially offset by increased selling expenses and advertising costs, leading operating income in the region to remain flat. In Asia, the company has seen progress as it pushes forward with the expansion of its direct-to-consumer business. However, costs related to this expansion more than offset increased revenues, meaning that the company's operating income in the region plummeted 32 percent.
By Jennifer Braun
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