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Levi's swings to loss in second quarter

Denim giant Levis Strauss & Co swung to a loss of $4.1 million (£2.5m) during the three months to May 3 after currency fluctuations and the soft wholesale market hit sales.

Levi Strauss & Co saw net revenues fall back 3% to $905m (£554.3m). Excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange, revenues would have increased by 5%.

The second quarter loss was against a $1m (£611,179) profit in the previous year.

Sales at the denim brand’s European division fell by 17% over the period to $221m (£135m) as the weaker European wholesale market impacted performance. However the company said that the decline in wholesale was offset by sales from recently opened company-operated stores in the region.

Domestic sales faired better. Sales rose 8% to $518m (£316.3m) in the Americas division, however this was against weaker sales in the second quarter of 2008.

Levi’s Strauss & Co president and chief executive John Anderson said: “We are focusing on fundamentals and operating our business with discipline and rigour in this challenging retail environment. We continue to focus on strengthening our business during these difficult times so we can capitalise on our position when the economy improves.”

The company acquired 73 outlet stores in the US this week.

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