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- Third quarter sales rise 25%; EPS up 21%
- Gross margins expand to 40.2% from 37.4%
- Quarterly dividend increased by $.01 to $.27 per share
- Continue to expect record sales and EPS in 2004
- High single digit sales and earnings growth expected in 2005


VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC - News), a leader in branded apparel, today announced record results for its third quarter and an aggressive growth plan designed to increase sales 8% annually. The Company is holding a meeting with investors on October 22 to review its growth plans in more detail.

Commented Mackey J. McDonald, chairman and chief executive officer, "Our position has never been stronger. Our core businesses are in great shape -- most are growing, and they are highly profitable and generating healthy levels of cash flow. At the same time, we've identified and successfully completed several acquisitions of powerful lifestyle brands that offer terrific potential for future growth. We believe we have established a platform that will enable us to generate sales growth of 8% annually. Through our growth plan, we also have identified ways to more effectively leverage our global supply chain capabilities that could generate $100 million in cost savings over the next five years."

Third quarter sales rose 25% to $1,792.6 million from $1,435.4 million in the prior year's third quarter. Net income increased 24% to $155.4 million from $125.3 million, with earnings per share rising 21% to $1.38 from $1.14. All per share amounts are presented on a diluted basis. The Company saw solid growth in most of its core businesses, while the recent acquisitions of the Vans®, Napapijri® and Kipling® brands added $183.6 million to sales in the quarter and $.12 to earnings per share. As anticipated, earnings reflect a $15.0 million or $.08 per share impact from the recognition of certain costs related to the disposition of the Company's Playwear business.


"We are aggressively driving integration and growth plans for all of our acquired businesses, both in Outdoor and Sportswear, and are very pleased by the benefits we've seen to date," commented Mr. McDonald. "We are on or ahead of schedule in meeting our sales and operating margin goals, and remain extremely excited at the future growth prospects for all these brands."


The Board of Directors declared an increase in the quarterly cash dividend rate of $.01 to $.27 per share. This marks the 14th consecutive year that the Company has increased its quarterly dividend rate. The cash dividend is payable on December 20, 2004 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 10, 2004.

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