US apparel and footwear firm The Timberland Company has reported an 11.7% drop in first-quarter profit, hurt by lower sales of its apparel and branded footwear lines.

Net income was down to $15.9m from $18.0m a year earlier, while revenues fell 12.9% to $296.6m.

Lowere apparel sales were partly due to a transition to a licensing model for the North American wholesale apparel business, the company said.

It also reported declines in sales of Timberland branded casual footwear, partially offset by continued growth in its SmartWool brand products.

Global footwear revenue decreased 10.5% to $211.6m, while apparel and accessories revenue was down 19.7% to $78.7m.

The impact of the stronger US dollar on foreign exchange rates slashed first-quarter revenue by $22m.

By region, sales in North America declined 13.0% to $119.9m, Europe decreased 15.0% to $140.0m and Asia fell 2.9% to $36.8m.

Timberland's global wholesale revenue dropped 14.4% to $218.6m, and worldwide consumer direct sales fell 8.1% to $78.0m - reflecting the adverse impact of a stronger US dollar.

Timberland ended the quarter with $159.2m in cash and no debt. Inventory at quarter end was $162.8m, down 9.7% against last year's levels.

The company did not give an outlook for its future performance.

However, Jeffrey B Swartz, Timberland's president and CEO, said: "As 2009 begins to unfold, we are seeing consumers becoming more selective in their purchases, and turning increasingly to trusted authentic brands like Timberland."