July 7, 2020 / 8:08 PM / a month ago

Levi's revenue tops estimates as online business thrives, sales trends improve

July 7 (Reuters) - Levi Strauss & Co’s quarterly revenue topped estimates on Tuesday, and the denim apparel maker said its sales were improving as stores reopen following government-mandated COVID-19 lockdowns.

The company reported a 25% increase in its online business in the second quarter ended May 24, with a month-over-month rise of nearly 80% in May, as consumers shopped more on its website and app.

Met with temporary closure of its own stores as well as partner outlets, Levi introduced curbside pickup and started fulfilling online orders at its stores, with customers turning to online shopping to avoid contact with people.

The company, however, warned that the impact of the pandemic could be significant for at least the rest of the year, with the possibility of additional COVID-19 related inventory and other charges.

Chief Executive Officer Chip Bergh said the company would slash about 700 positions, or roughly 15% of its staff, in non-retail, non-manufacturing segment that would help save $100 million annually.

Net revenue fell 62% to $497.5 million, but beat expectations of $485.5 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Levi reported net loss attributable to the company of $363.5 million, or 91 cents per share, compared with a profit of $28.2 million, or seven cents per share, a year earlier.

The loss was largely due to $242 million in restructuring charges and inventory costs due to coronavirus-related disruptions.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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