Levi’s strong Q4

Jeans specialist Levi Strauss recorded a strong fourth quarter, with net earnings leaping 119 percent to $96 million (£49 million). Revenues gained 4 percent to $1.24 billion. “Our fourth-quarter performance was encouraging, with net revenue growth in each of our three regions,” said John Anderson, the company’s new chief executive. “For the full year, we delivered stable revenues and strong profits, and paid down debt. The year ended with improved performance in virtually all of our business units. I am pleased with our positive momentum heading into 2007.” During a conference call with analysts Anderson said the year had started off slowly, with a weak European market adversely affecting sales. Also contributing to the sluggish start was a downturn in the Levi Strauss Signature due to Wal-Mart pulling back. The European business recovered in the second half, with fourth quarter earnings rising 3 percent and operating income jumping 20 percent thanks to lower advertising spending. Overall operating income for the quarter rose 40 percent to $170 million, while operating income for the full year increased by $24 million to $614 million.

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