In a year when apparel group VF Corporation experienced a 12-per-cent fall in group sales, its Greater China business saw revenue surge 24 per cent, and the company has strong expectations for the new fiscal year.
VF, which owns brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies and Supreme, expects global sales to increase by around 28 per cent in the new financial year as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on retail trading operations in North America and Europe lessens. In Asia Pacific, where it says nearly all of its stores are open and trading, the company expects to boost sales by 18 to 20 per cent this year, helping it achieve US$11.8 billion in sales worldwide, compared with $9.2 billion in the year to last March. The recently acquired Supreme brand is expected to contribute $600 million of that.
“We are incredibly proud of the results VF achieved across the Asia Pacific region throughout fiscal 2021 and the way in which we navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Winnie Ma, president, Greater China and Southeast Asia, at VF Corporation. “Our Asia-Pacific business model transformation is well progressed and will lay the foundation for sustainable, long-term growth across the region in the years ahead.”
While Covid-19 dented the company’s global sales for the full FY2021 year, fourth-quarter trading figures suggest the worst is behind.
Total sales rose by 23 per cent (19 per cent in constant currency) to $2.6 billion. “Excluding the impact of acquisitions, revenue increased 16 per cent driven by VF’s largest brands, e-commerce growth and an increase in the APAC region, which experienced a significant negative impact from Covid-19 in the prior year period,” the company said in a statement. However, the fourth quarter also included an extra week’s trading when compared to the previous year.
Chairman, president and CEO Steve Rendle said the company took actions early in the last fiscal year to protect its people and the business, while maintaining investments to drive our transformation and accelerate organic growth.
“At the same time, we took bold, forward-looking actions to spark additional growth and value creation. As a result, we are exiting this year in a position of strength with broad-based momentum across the portfolio,” he concluded.
Adjusted operating income from continuing operations for FY2021 decreased 45 per cent to $742 million, including a $34 million contribution from acquisitions.