by Brian Lipton

2VFNorth Carolina-based apparel giant VF Corporation today reported disappointing financial results for its fourth quarter ended January 2, 2016, but predicted gains in revenue for its upcoming fiscal year.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, revenue was down 1 percent on currency neutral basis, and gross margin was down 49 percent on currency neutral basis. Overall, the company earned $0.95 per share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $3.38 billion, slightly lower than expectations.

Among the company’s strongest performing brands were Lee Jeans and Vans, while sportswear brand Nautica continued to struggle.

However, in 2016, VF’s revenue is expected to increase at a mid-single-digit percentage rate, with larger gains in the second half of the year. In addition earnings per share, on a currency neutral basis, are expected to increase 11 percent over 2015.

“The final quarter of 2015 challenged many companies to leverage core strengths and adapt quickly to a changing landscape,” said Eric Wiseman, VF chairman and CEO. “Our focus, discipline and agility amid a softer consumer environment, record warm weather and a strengthening U.S. dollar have us well positioned to navigate what we believe to be a relatively short-term challenge. Going forward, I remain confident in VF’s ability to deliver continued long-term profitable growth and value creation for our shareholders.”