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.