by Brian Lipton

2VFNorth Carolina-based VF Corporation, which owns such brands as Nautica, Lee and Timberland, has reported financial results for its third quarter ended October 1, 2016.

Earnings per share was up 13 percent to $1.20 compared with $1.06 during the same period last year, primarily because of a lower tax rate due to a higher mix of international sales. However, revenue was down 1 percent to $3.5 billion, and operating income was also down 1 percent to $635 million.

The company’s sportswear division declined 13 percent to $141 million including a 15 percent decrease in Nautica brand revenue, while the jeanswear division’s third quarter revenue declined 6 percent to $701 million due to unseasonably warm weather in September, softer consumer demand and shifts in the delivery of orders. On the plus side, the Outdoor & Action Sports division revenue climbed 2 percent to 2.3 billion, thanks in part to a strong demand for Vans brand products in the Asia-Pacific region. Lastly, the company’s e-commerce business continued its strong momentum with 18 percent revenue growth.

“We continue to operate in an uneven, global economic environment including especially sluggish retail conditions in the Americas, our largest market,” said Eric Wiseman, VF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With a strong balance sheet, powerful brands, and a growing global presence, we have great confidence in our ability to maintain near-term profitability, yet we’re not satisfied with our third quarter results. We remain sharply focused on operational improvements and taking advantage of this environment to accelerate strategies to create sustainable, long-term growth opportunities for our brands.”