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VF Corporation to invest $35m in brand portfolio

VF Corporation, the owner of denim brand Lee and outdoor brand The North Face, is boosting investment in its brands by $35m (£22m) to $85m (£55m) over 2010.

The additional cash will be used to target marketing and brand building campaigns for The North Face, footwear brand Vans, and developing its brands in China.

The Vans brand will receive a “high-impact” multi-platform media campaign, which will run in key locations across Europe, and will be supported by a series of in-store events and merchandising in stores across the continent. A series of new digital innovations will also be rolled-out as part of its ongoing global marketing campaign.

Meanwhile, The North Face brand will launch its first ever TV ad campaign in the US and boost global product development. VF is also seeking to drive market share gains across Europe and expand into new consumer segments

The additional investment will also be used in China to expand the Lee brand’s multi-media campaign in key regions; broaden the reach of digital and event marketing programmes for Vans and extend a key interactive consumer campaign for The North Face.

VF, which last week acquired a 5% stake in sportswear retailer Blacks, revealed the additional investment as it announced better than expected results for the first quarter of 2010. Total revenue rose to $1.8m (£1.2m) from $1.7m (£1.1m) in the same period last year, while net income increased by 62% to a record $163.5m (£1m). VF does not separate out results for its European business.

Its strong first quarter was attributed to a reduction in costs and inventory over 2009 but has also been driven by a healthy performance from its outdoor and action sports division, which reported a 10% increase in first quarter revenues, led by The North Face and Vans.

Eric C. Wiseman, VF chairman and chief executive, said: “Our first quarter results were stronger than anticipated, marketing by improving revenue trends and gross margins that were even stronger than our expectations.”

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