Kontoor Brands finishes 2022 strong with Q4 earnings, sales uptick
Kontoor Brands announced on Tuesday a strong finish in 2022, with fourth-quarter sales and earnings lifting on the back of surging U.S. sales and gains in the company's Wrangler brand.
The Greensboro, North Carolina-based denim and apparel maker recorded revenues of $732 million, a 7 percent increase (9 percent increase in constant currency) over the same period in the prior year. The company said the revenue increase was primarily driven by strength in domestic wholesale and digital, somewhat offset by decreases in International, with the continued impacts of lockdowns and restrictions in China weighing on the quarter.
U.S. revenue grew to $605 million, increasing 16 percent over the same period in the prior year, with gains in both the Wrangler and Lee brands. U.S. wholesale increased 17 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2021, including strength in U.S. digital wholesale which increased 66 percent compared to last year.
Contrastingly, international revenue fell 20 percent $127 million, over the same period in the prior year. China decreased 33 percent, driven by impacts from the Covid lockdowns and restrictions in the region. Europe fell 15 percent, over the same period last year, with wholesale pressures more than offsetting constant currency gains in direct-to-consumer (DTC).
By brand, Wrangler global revenue was $509 million, a 15 percent increase. Wrangler U.S. revenue increased 19 percent, driven by increased shipments in U.S. wholesale, with broad-based channel and category strength including western, outdoor, workwear and T-shirts.
Wrangler international revenue decreased 17 percent, with gains in DTC more than offset by decreases in wholesale channels.
Lee global revenue was $219 million, a 6 percent decrease on last year. Lee U.S. revenue increased 5 percent driven by digital. Globally, non-denim categories such as T-shirts experienced significant year-over-year gains in the quarter. Lee international revenue decreased 21 percent, hurt by reductions in China due to the impact of Covid restrictions.
For the quarter, earnings per share were $0.91 on a reported basis and $0.88 on an adjusted basis, compared to reported EPS of $0.75 and adjusted EPS of $0.88, in the same period last year.
For the year, revenue was $2.63 billion, a 6 percent increase (8 percent increase in constant currency) over the prior year.
“We finished 2022 strong, as fourth quarter revenue and EPS came in significantly above our plan. Despite unprecedented macroeconomic challenges, we are delivering on many of our long-term goals, with 2022 revenue and earnings ahead of our investor day targets. I want to thank our teams around the world for navigating these near-term external pressures, while setting the foundation for Kontoor’s long-term future success,” said Scott Baxter, president, chief executive officer and chair of Kontoor Brands.
“Even as we anticipate macro headwinds to persist through the year, we begin 2023 from a position of strength. We expect our strategic investments in talent, demand creation and innovation to support continued share gains in our core business, while also driving diversified, accretive growth across DTC channels, categories and international markets. Kontoor’s powerful combination of sustained profitability, robust balance sheet, and flexible capital allocation optionality should continue to yield superior returns for all stakeholders,” added Baxter.
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