VF Corp. -- parent company of JanSport, Eastpak, and The North Face -- reported second quarter earnings of $88.9 million compared with $69.4 last year -- a 21.8 percent increase. The higher earnings came despite a drop in overall sales from $1.32 billion to $1.19 billion this year on the strength of company-wide reorganization and cost-cutting measures. During the conference call to investors and media, Mackey McDonald, chairman and CEO of VF practically gushed about the success and strength of VF's outdoor brands, singling out TNF as the pride of the company to date. McDonald stated that spring sell-through had been very good for TNF and that reorders were running 50 percent above plan. In addition, he stated that Fall-2002 pre-season bookings are 17 percent above last year's levels. In addition, McDonald stated that TNF's Spring 2003 launch of the A5 sportswear program is expected to help TNF go after more apparel dollars from its existing core customers while also extending the brand to a more diverse consumer audience. "A5 leverages the technical heritage of The North Face into lifestyle products that deliver quality, value and accessible price points," McDonald said. He emphasized that distribution of the cotton-based A5 would be primarily through specialty outdoor retailers. As for Tekware, it will continue as a core element in TNF’s programs giving the company a performance brand with more technical fabrications and higher price points.