By Aishwarya Venugopal
(Reuters) - Levi Strauss & Co posted a 7 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday after returning to public markets last month, driven by the jeans maker's strategy to invest in its retail stores and online business.
The company's shares rose nearly 3 percent to $22.25 in extended trading.
Levi has been branching out from its staple men's blue jeans into women's apparel, T-shirts and fleeces to cater to changing customer preferences and the rise of "athleisure" pioneered by Lululemon Athletica Inc.
The efforts helped Levi rake in double-digit revenue growth at its women's and tops categories, while its biggest business of men's jeans, pants and shorts, that include the iconic Dockers khakis, also grew 6 percent.
However, the company stuck to its full-year forecast, anticipating revenue growth in the mid-single digits.
"There are still a lot of headwinds," Chief Executive Officer Chip Bergh said.
"There are going to be more door-closings with the big wholesale customers in the U.S. and Europe, Brexit is still a concern and China tariffs are still a question mark."
Levi has been pouring money into marketing by collaborating with celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and super model Hailey Bieber, while growing the number of retail stores and revamping its websites.
"Retail is working for us, both brick and mortar and e-commerce," Bergh said.
Levi had 70 more company-operated stores at the end of the first quarter than it did a year earlier.
Sales at Levi's direct-to-consumer business that includes company-owned stores and its online channels also grew 10 percent in the first quarter.
Levi said net income attributable to the company was $146.6 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter, compared to a loss of $19 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company incurred a tax-related charge.
On an adjusted basis, net income grew 81 percent to $151 million.
"This is a good set of numbers which are underpinned by a sound strategy and growing brand affinity," GlobalData Retail analyst Neil Saunders said.
The company's shares have surged more than 30 percent in its return to the public market on March 21.
(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)
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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2019 05:05:46 IST