Levi Strauss revenue grew six per cent in the first half of the year. Net revenue rose five per cent. Sales at its China unit rose three per cent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose about seven per cent mainly due to higher advertising and marketing costs. Net income attributable to the company fell, hit primarily by costs related to its initial public offering earlier this year.
An ongoing weakness in the retail sector weighed on its US wholesale business, which reported a two per cent drop in sales. Globally, the business accounts for a third of Levi’s revenue. The company expects its wholesale business in the US to be challenged in the second half of the year with bankruptcies and door closures and tightening of customers open-to-buy budgets. To counter the weakness in its wholesale unit, the company has been investing in its online business and retail outlets, while expanding its presence in markets such as China, India and Brazil. The efforts helped raise sales across segments in the second quarter, with its women’s business growing 16 per cent and tops segment rising 14 per cent.
The company has forecast full-year net revenue growth at the high end of the mid-single-digit range.