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VF Corporation cuts forecasts as sales slip

VF Corporation, which owns brands including Lee, Wrangler and Vans, has cut its annual sales and earnings forecasts, after net income dropped 25%to $100.9 m (£68.5m) over the first quarter of 2009.

VF Corporation revenues on a constant currency basis fell 2% over the period. Sales on a reported basis decreased 7% to $1.72 billion (£1.16bn) compared with the first quarter of last year.

However, VF Corporation said that Wrangler revenues rose 3% and and Lee revenues were up 7% over the quarter.

VF Corporation said that global volatility and challenging economic conditions affected business in the first quarter, and that revenue for the year was expected to be down by 5% to 7%, with more than half due to the decline in foreign currency.

VF Corporation chairman, president and chief executive Eric Wiseman said: “We are pleased that we met our first quarter targets. Our balance sheet, liquidity and cash flow remain very strong, inventories are down and we’re on track with our cost reduction initiatives. However, changes in several key markets have led us to reduce our top and bottom line assumptions for the balance of the year.

He added: “Times like these offer strong companies with strong brands like ours a unique opportunity to drive market share gains and improve their long-term competitive position. We intend to take advantage of this opportunity by continuing to invest behind our brands’ core growth strategies to gain share, and we intend to emerge from these difficult times stronger than ever.”

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