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Tiffany Montgomery
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VF announces goals for outdoor group

By Tiffany Montgomery
January 09, 2008 7:28 AM

VF Corporation owns a myriad of brands including Wrangler, Nautica, 7 For All Mankind and Lee.

Its outdoor group includes Vans, Reef, The North Face, Eastpak and JanSport. The company said today it expects revenues in this group to grow at a high single-digit to low double-digit rate over the next five years.

Overall, the company said key growth will come from its international push and its direct to consumer efforts. Also, VF is looking to make more acquisitions. The plan calls for VF to reach $11 billion in revenues by 2012.

The company is bullish about business in 2008.

Here's the release:

GREENSBORO, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, is raising its long-term revenue, operating margin and earnings per share growth targets. The new targets reflect the Company's confidence in its vision and strategies, which have been designed to drive superior returns to shareholders. The Company is also establishing its guidance for 2008 revenues and earnings, confirming its outlook for another record year in both.

"We are committed to delivering growth and focused on driving total shareholder return, with confidence that we have the brands, strategies and talent to achieve both on a sustainable, long-term basis," said Eric C. Wiseman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is a tremendously exciting day for us, as we share our vision for a VF that is bigger, more international, more diversified and more profitable."

Five-Year Growth Plan Targets

"Today, we are delighted to announce that our outlook for growth and profitability is stronger than ever, thanks to the foundation built by a leadership team with an unwavering commitment to performance excellence and the ability to execute in the face of changing market and economic conditions," said Wiseman.

Highlights of the Plan include

$11 Billion in Revenues. We are raising our long-term revenue growth target from 6-8% to 8-10% annually and establishing a goal of $11 billion in revenues by 2012. We expect strong organic growth of 6-7%, with acquisitions contributing 2-3% to growth. Key growth drivers will be international expansion and continued growth in our direct-to-consumer business. Our international revenues are expected to expand approximately 13% annually and account for a third of our total revenues by 2012. Our direct-to-consumer business should grow at about 18% annually and represent 22% of revenues.

Each of our coalitions is expected to achieve organic growth over the coming years. Our Lifestyle businesses - Outdoor, Contemporary Brands and Sportswear - will continue to be our growth engines.

Revenues in our Outdoor and Contemporary Brands coalitions are expected to grow at a high single-digit to low double-digit rate, with Sportswear growing at a mid single-digit rate. Our Heritage businesses - Jeanswear and Imagewear - will continue to be important contributors to our Growth Plan, providing growth and the profits and cash flow to fuel our expansion.

15% Operating Margin. We are also raising our operating margin target from 14% to 15%, as we leverage our costs across an expanded revenue base, grow our international and retail businesses and continue our relentless focus on cost reduction.

10-11% EPS Growth
. We are establishing a new target for earnings per share growth of 10-11%. EPS are expected to grow at a faster rate than revenues, reflecting continued expansion in our operating margins.

40% Dividend Payout
. Returning cash to shareholders continues to be an important component of our TSR (total shareholder return) strategy, and we expect to maintain a dividend payout rate of approximately 40% over the next five years.

2008 Guidance

2008 should be another very strong year of growth in both revenues and earnings, right in line with our newly established targets. We are anticipating revenue growth of 9% and earnings per share growth of 10%, excluding the impact of any new acquisitions. This will represent our sixth consecutive year of record revenues and profits.

"We're bullish about our prospects for 2008, despite the sharp downturn in investor sentiment surrounding many consumer-focused sectors. Not only do we expect to wrap up 2007 with a great fourth quarter, as previously announced on December 19, but we look forward to continuing our momentum in 2008 with another year of record performance," concluded Wiseman.

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