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VF Net Up, To Close Nautica’s Women’s Line

Firm reports 7.7 percent increase in first-quarter profits, opts to focus on Nautica men’s sportswear.

Despite posting impressive revenue and earnings gains in the first quarter, VF Corp. wasn't immune to the difficulties of the U.S. retail environment – a key factor in the company's decision to exit Nautica's women's sportswear business.

VF's sportswear coalition, which includes the Nautica and John Varvatos labels, saw North American revenues fall 11 percent during the quarter. Management had anticipated Nautica revenues would decline as a result of one of its customers deciding to reduce its assortment of the brand. In revealing the decision to close the Nautica women's business, the company said it has decided to devote its resources to the brand's men's sportswear segment.

For the three months ended March 31, earnings rose 7.7 percent to $149 million, or $1.33 a share, compared with earnings of $138.3 million, or $1.20 a share, during the same period a year ago.

Revenues rose 10.3 percent to $1.85 billion from $1.67 billion. Sales increased 10.4 percent to $1.83 billion from $1.65 billion.

For complete coverage, see Wednesday's issue of WWD.
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