UPDATE 1-North Face owner VF beats profit estimates on record margins

Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:01am EDT

* First-quarter earnings per share $2.43 vs est $2.19

* First-quarter revenue up 2 pct to $2.58 bln vs est $2.64 bln

* Gross margin up 2.4 percentage points to record 48.1 pct

April 26 (Reuters) - VF Corp, known for its flagship clothing brands The North Face and Vans, reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit as margins rose to a record high, and the company raised its earnings forecast for 2013.

VF said lower product costs and higher-margin products helped to boost gross margins by 2.4 percentage points to 48.1 percent in the quarter ended March 30.

Shares of the company, which also owns the Wrangler and Timberland brands, rose 2 percent in premarket trade.

The company raised its 2013 adjusted profit forecast to $10.75 per share from $10.70.

Analysts on average estimate a profit of $10.80 per share for the year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income increased to $270.4 million, or $2.41 per share, from $215.2 million, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $2.43 per share. Analysts on average were expecting profit of $2.19 per share.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $2.58 billion, slightly below the average market estimate of $2.64 billion.

Shares of Greensboro, North Carolina-based VF rose to $179.00 in premarket trading after closing at $178.75 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

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