Levi Strauss & Co. announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended November 25, 2012
On a reported basis, fourth-quarter and full-year net revenues declined 3 percent from the prior year. Excluding the impact of currency, fourth-quarter net revenues declined 2 percent and full-year net revenues were down less than 1 percent from the prior year.
For both periods, increased sales from company-operated retail stores in the Americas and Europe were offset by the adverse impact of slowing economic conditions in Asia, as well as strategic choices taken during the third quarter to exit certain businesses in the Americas and Asia.
Operating income for both the fourth quarter and full year were flat to 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2012, improvements in gross margin were reinvested primarily into advertising activities.
Fourth quarter and full-year net income increased 20 percent and four percent from the prior year, respectively, primarily reflecting lower tax expense due to a tax benefit the company recorded in the fourth quarter.
“In 2012, we made some tough choices and executed significant changes to set the company on a path towards driving sustainable profitable growth,” said Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer. “We have a largely new leadership team, sharper strategies and a new organization model designed to win in the marketplace. We’re focused on driving our profitable core businesses, expanding beyond the core to develop a more balanced portfolio, becoming a best-in-class retailer and making our cost structure more competitive.”
Fourth Quarter 2012 Highlights
-Gross profit in the fourth quarter was $649 million compared with $624 million for the same period in 2011. Gross margin for the fourth quarter was 50 percent of net revenues compared with 46 percent of net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011. The gross margin improvement reflected increased sales from the company’s retail stores, a decline in sales to lower-margin channels and lower cotton costs.
-Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for the fourth quarter increased to $558 million compared with $532 million in the same period of 2011, primarily reflecting increased advertising activities in some markets and a difference in timing of campaigns.
- Lower income tax expense, which benefited net income, resulted from a tax benefit of $27 million that the company recorded in conjunction with reaching an agreement with the State of California on state tax refund claims involving tax years 1986 through 2004.