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Reported net revenue related to the company's direct-to-consumer business improved 10 per cent, primarily due to performance and expansion of the retail network as well as e-commerce growth. The company had 70 more company-operated stores at the end of the first quarter of 2019 than it did a year prior. Reported net revenues related to the company's wholesale business grew 5 per cent, reflecting growth in all regions.
In the Americas, net revenue climbed 9 per cent on a reported basis and 10 per cent on a constant-currency basis, reflecting higher revenues across both wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels across the region. Operating income for the region grew 11 per cent on a reported basis and 12 per cent on a constant-currency basis on the higher net revenues and lower advertising costs, which were partially offset by higher direct-to-consumer costs and increased distribution costs to support higher volume.
In Europe, net revenues increased 3 per cent on a reported basis and 10 per cent on a constant-currency basis, reflecting continued broad-based growth across direct-to-consumer and wholesale channels. The region's operating income grew 6 per cent on a reported basis and 13 per cent on a constant-currency basis reflecting the net revenues growth and a higher gross margin from a shift towards the direct-to-consumer channel, partially offset by higher direct-to-consumer and distribution costs
In Asia, net revenue hiked 8 per cent on a reported basis and 14 per cent on a constant-currency basis, reflecting strong performance across traditional wholesale, franchisee and direct-to-consumer channels. Revenue growth was broad-based across the region's markets, including China. The region's operating income grew 6 per cent on a reported basis and 13 per cent on a constant-currency basis, reflecting higher revenues partially offset by a decline in gross margin driven by product cost investment.
"We delivered our sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit constant-currency revenue growth," said Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co. "Growth was broad-based across all three regions and all channels, demonstrating that our strategies are working and our investments are paying off."
In fiscal 2019, the company expects constant-currency net revenues growth of mid-single digits adjusted EBIT margin to be flat-to-slightly up. Additionally, the company anticipates capital expenditures of approximately $190 - $200 million and nearly 100 new company-operated store openings in fiscal 2019. (RR)
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