Berkshire Hathaway reported apparel and footwear revenues increased 4.6 percent in 2018 to $4.3 billion, primarily due to increased sales volume at Brooks Sports and Garan.
Pre-tax earnings of the apparel and footwear businesses increased 6.4 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, primarily attributable to the overall increase in revenues and sales mix changes.
In 2017, earnings from the apparel and footwear businesses increased 5 percent, primarily due to increased earnings from the footwear businesses. Sales were up 1.6 percent.
On January 24, Brooks reported global revenue reached a record $644 million in 2018, a 26-percent year-over-year.
Beyond Brooks and Garan, Berkshire’s apparel and footwear businesses including Fruit of the Loom, which includes Fruit of the Loom, Jerzees, Vanity Fair, Russell Athletic and Spalding. It also owns BH Shoe Holdings Group, which makes footwear under the Justin, Original Work, Tony Lama, Chippewa, BØRN , B•Ø•C, Carolina, EuroSofft, Söfft, Double-H Boots, Nursemates and Comfortiva labels.
Overall revenues in the Consumer Products segment were approximately $12.5 billion in 2018, an increase of $394 million, or 3.2 percent, compared to 2017. The increase was primarily due to revenue increases of Forest River, a manufacturer of recreational vehicles, as well as the gains in its apparel and footwear businesses.
Brands in the Consumer Products segment also include Duracell batteries; Albecca, a custom-frames provider that sells largely under the Larson-Juhl name; and the Richline jewelry business.
Pre-tax earnings in the Consumer Products segment in 2018 were $1.21 billion in 2018, an increase of $96 million, or 8.6 percent, compared to 2017. Pre-tax earnings as a percentage of revenues were 9.6 percent in 2018 and 9.2 percent in 2017. The increase in earnings reflected increases from Duracell and the apparel and footwear businesses, partly offset by lower earnings from Forest River and Larson Juhl.