Branded apparel company VF Corporation is targeting another record year in 2008 after posting a 22% increase in fourth quarter sales.

The company expects strong revenue increases both in the first quarter and throughout the year after closing 2007 with full year sales up 16% and income up 15%.

Driven by 12% organic growth and 10% growth from 2007 acquisitions, VF's fourth quarter revenues rose 22% to US$1,955.2m.

Income from continuing operations was up 16% to $164m, with EPS increasing 18% to $1.46 - higher than forecasts thanks to strong revenues and one-off items.

Full year revenues were up 16% to $7,219.4m, with VF claiming "healthy growth" across most of its businesses. Organic growth was 10%, with 6% added by new acquisitions such as Seven For All Mankind and Lucy Activewear.

Full year income was up 15% to $613.2m, with EPS lifting 14% to $5.41.

"Our coalitions' performance, particularly given the economic difficulties faced in the last quarter of the year, is an extraordinary achievement," said president and CEO Eric Wiseman.

"These results point clearly to the strength and diversity of our business model and give us confidence that we can continue the momentum and deliver another record year in 2008."

In the fourth quarter, VF's outdoor coalition posted a 32% increase in revenues, with The North Face, Vans, Kipling, Eastpak and Napapijri all showing double-digit growth.

Jeanswear revenues edged up 3%, with international sales increasing 13%, but domestic revenues flat.

However, operating income was up 13% on higher margins. The company's sportswear brands recorded a 6% revenue hike, with the performances of Kipling and John Varvatos particular highlights.

But margins and income declined slightly, thanks to high levels of promotional activity for Nautica.

VF now expects FY 2008 revenues to increase 9%, backed by organic growth in all its business areas. EPS is forecast to grow 10%, driven by top line growth and margin expansion, particularly in jeanswear and outdoor wear.

And the company thinks first quarter revenues and EPS will both grow by 8-10%, driven by outdoor wear, imagewear and contemporary brands.