Sales up at Levis

Gross margin in the quarter expanded to 53.2% of net revenue compared to 51.8% a year ago, reflecting margin benefit from direct-to-consumer growth, according to a company press release. Earnings before interest and taxes grew 10% to $162 million, reflecting revenue growth and higher gross margins, partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative expenses, which rose to $583 million from $510 million in the year-ago quarter.

Wholesale reported revenues rose 8%. The company saw growth at all brands and regions. Net revenues in the Americas rose 7% (9% currency neutral) to $793 million, and in Europe rose 17% to $406 million.

Levis is maintaining its momentum, thanks in part to its move to sell more directly to customers. The companys direct-to-consumer rise represents its 11th straight quarter of double-digit direct growth, CEO Chip Bergh said in a conference call.

The brands performance in the quarter reflects the enduring nature of the denim labels iconic status, but is also due to the companys merchandise diversification. Globally were selling a T-shirt every second, Bergh said. “Were playing the portfolio well across the customer base.” Its Dockers brand is getting out of the doldrums, with 2% growth this quarter, “the first time in a while that weve delivered growth” compared to last year, he said, noting that the company sees the light at the end of the tunnel for that label.

New brick-and-mortar and marketing initiatives are also paying off, he said. The companys Los Angeles custom design store has garnered attention and traffic, and its second iteration of the Levis-Air Jordan shoe sold out in minutes online and in stores, he said. He also said that the company is optimistic that its more recent ad campaigns, one to get out the vote and another with pop star Justin Timberlake, will meet its high expectations and make an impact and keep the brand in the center of culture.

The definition of productivity is the effectiveness of productive effort, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

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Levis has enjoyed its fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in revenue, with sales up across all brands and regions.

The company recorded a 10% increase in net revenues to $1.4bn (£1.06bn) for the three months to 26 August compared to the same period last year.

The third quarter results saw growth across the Levis, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co, Denizen and Dockers brands, and for the mens, womens, tops and bottoms categories.

It also reported growth across all regions and channels, with direct-to-consumer revenues up by 14%, citing performance and expansion of the retail network, while also seeing growth across ecommerce. The company said it now has 65 more stores compared to a year ago.

The biggest leap in net revenues for the quarter was seen in Europe, which increased by 17% to $406m (£308.8m), while revenue growth across America and Asia increased by 7% and 8% respectively. 

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