Levi Strauss & Co has today announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2001 ended 25 February, 2001.

First-quarter net sales declined 8 per cent to $996m from $1,082m in the first quarter of fiscal 2000. However, the company claim that had currency rates remained constant at 2000 levels, then net sales would have declined approximately 5 per cent for the period.

Philip Marineau, the company's president and chief executive officer, said, "Our results are satisfactory in light of the weak retail and apparel markets, which affected our performance in the latter part of the first quarter.

First-quarter gross profit was $440m compared to $450m in the first quarter of 2000, while gross margin improved to 44.2 per cent from 41.6 per cent in the prior-year period.

Operating income for the period decreased 8.4 per cent to $121m compared to $132m in the first quarter of fiscal 2000.

Net income in the first quarter decreased to $30m compared to $65m in fiscal 2000. Without a one-time, pre-tax gain of $26m related to the sale of office space, and after adjusting for taxes, net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2000 would have been $48m.