Lucky 13: The North Face, Timberland and rest of VF Outdoor group see combined 2014 sales up 13 percent

VF's Outdoor Group saw its strongest sales in the Americas and Asia, while Europe sales lagged.
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Another strong earnings report from the outdoor industry as VF Corp (NYSE:VFC), parent to The North Face, Timberland, Vans and SmartWool, Eagle Creek, Jansport and others reported 13 percent growth both for the fourth quarter (to $2.16 billion) and full year 2014 (to $7.2 billion). Operating profit for the outdoor group rose to $432 million for the fourth quarter, versus $358 million a year ago; and increased to $1.3 billion for 2014 versus $1.1 billon in 2013.

Fourth-quarter revenues for The North Face rose 12 percent, with strength coming from a 30 percent increase in direct-to-consumer sales. By region, the Americas and Asia saw sales up more than 25 percent, while Europe continued to lag mid-single-digit declines. For the full-year 2014, TNF saw sales rise 11 percent to surpass $2.2 billion. Looking ahead, officials expect The North Face to report another mid-single-digit rate increase in sales for the full-year 2015.

Fourth-quarter revenue for Timberland rose 11 percent, led by a 25 percent increase in the Americas, mid-single-digit growth in Asia and a low single-digit decline in Europe.

The outdoor group led VF's overall diversified collection of apparel brands, including jeans and contemporary wear. In total, VF Corp's fourth-quarter sales rose 9 percent to $3.58 billion with profit slipping to $122 million versus $367 million a year ago. And for the full-year 2014, VF's total revenue rose 8 percent to $12.2 billion. It's annual profit notched down to $1.05 billion in 2014 versus $1.2 billion in 2013.

--David Clucas

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