Apparel group VF Corporation, owner of brands such as 7 For All Mankind and Wrangler, has posted a sharp 27.3% hike in second quarter profit, with strong growth in its outdoor unit offsetting weak domestic jeans sales.

Second quarter net income climbed to US$104m, compared with $81.7m in the prior year's quarter, the company said yesterday (15 July).

VF Corp, which also owns the Vans and Nautica brands, said quarterly revenues rose 11% to a record $1.68bn, compared with $1.5bn in the second quarter of 2007.

VF's total outdoor brand revenues in the second quarter rose 17% with double-digit growth in both domestic and international businesses.

The North Face's global brand revenues grew by over 40%. Its retail revenues went up nearly 50% in the quarter - driven by strong same store sales gains as well as new store openings.

VF's Vans brand saw global revenues up 14% reflecting double-digit increases both domestically and internationally, with its retail revenues growing 20% in the quarter.

Total Jeanswear revenues, including the Wrangler, Lee and Riders brands, declined 1% in the current quarter, with double-digit gains in its international jeans business offset by lower revenues in its domestic jeans business.

International jeans revenues rose 14% due to the benefit of foreign currency translation and reflecting strong growth in Asia and Mexico, whereas VF's US jeanswear revenues declined 7%.

The company is hoping new products like Wrangler Comfort Series jeans and Lee Comfort Fit casuals and jeans can stablise revenue comparisons in the second half of the year.

Total Sportswear sales fell 4% in the second quarter, while its Contemporary Brands coalition, which consists of the recently-acquired 7 For All Mankind and Lucy brands, added $88m to second quarter revenues.

Total net income for the first six months of the year was $253m, compared to $220m in the first half of last year, VF reported, while first-half revenues rose 10% to a record $3.5bn from $3.19bn in the first-half of last year.

"Our ability to deliver record revenues and earnings per share in the face of exceptionally challenging economic conditions clearly demonstrates the strength and resilience of VF's business model - which is based on powerful brands, excellent geographic and retail channel diversity, and consistent execution," said Eric Wiseman, president and CEO of VF Corporation.

The company went onto say that international revenues had increased 23% in the second quarter and represented 27% of total revenues, while retail revenues increased 15% in the quarter and represented 15% of total revenues.

Management has now raised its full-year earnings growth target for 2008 from 10% to 12%, and anticipates revenues for 2008 of $7.9bn, representing an increase of over 9%.