Editor’s Note: The following excerpts come from our President and CEO, Chip Bergh, in a letter to shareholders from our 2017 Annual Report. Read the full report here.
This year was a turning point for Levi Strauss & Co.’s business, with the highest annual revenue growth rate this company has delivered in a decade. We built momentum throughout the year and finished 2017 much stronger than we started, with double-digit fourth quarter revenue growth.
Today, we have a more diversified business than we did five years ago. We are unlocking growth in categories that have high growth potential to offset some of our low growth businesses. With today’s release of our 2017 Annual Report, here are highlights from the year that was:
By the Numbers
- The Levi’s® brand grew 9 percent growth for the full year – across every channel, in all three regions and across men’s, women’s, tops and bottoms.
- Our direct-to-consumer business is now 30 percent of the total company and grew double digits in 2017.
- Our momentum was strong as we closed out the fiscal year, with revenue up 13 percent on a reported basis in the fourth quarter (11 percent in constant currency) and adjusted EBIT up 7 percent. Growth remained balanced, with all three regions and all channels growing in Q4.
- We stepped up investments in our brands with incremental spending behind the global Live in Levi’s® advertising campaign, the new Dockers® Always On campaign (supporting the Smart 360 Flex™ launch) and our direct-to-consumer business, including ecommerce.
- Our Levi’s® women’s business, which relaunched in 2015, has grown 10 quarters in a row, with double-digit growth in five of those quarters.
- Our tops business grew 35 percent last year, driven by the iconic Trucker jacket, which celebrated its 50th anniversary, and our Levi’s® Batwing T-shirt, which has become a fashion item in many markets around the world.
- In the value segment, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™ and Denizen® collectively grew more than 20 percent this year.
Our Values In Action
- In 2017, we contributed more than $9 million to nonprofit partners who are fighting for equality and protecting our planet, volunteered more than 50,000 hours and donated nearly 150,000 pieces of clothing to those in need.
- We were the only apparel company to be named to Fortune’s “Change the World” list of companies making a positive impact on the world. The initiative that earned us a spot on this list, our Worker Well-being program, invests directly in the lives of the people who make our products by working with our strategic suppliers and local partners to embed employee health, financial and well-being programs into the factory communities. We continued to expand this ground-breaking initiative, reaching more than 150,000 apparel workers who make our products worldwide.
- The Levi Strauss Foundation committed $1 million to specifically protect marginalized communities across the U.S. and abroad, including immigrants, refugees, the transgender community, and religious minorities.
Want more insights into all the amazing ways we showed up last year? Check out the full report at levistrauss.com.