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UPDATE 1-VF Corp profit beats as cold weather drives outdoor apparel sales

* 2nd-qtr net income at $157.7 mln, or 36 cents per share

* 2nd-qtr revenue up 8 pct to $2.40 bln

(Adds details, updates shares)

July 18 (Reuters) - VF Corp, the owner of brands such as Timberland and The North Face, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales as cold weather in North America drove demand for its higher-margin outdoor and action sports brands.

The company said sales in its outdoor and action sports business rose 16 percent to $1.27 billion, accounting for more than half of its total revenue.

The outdoor business, which also includes the Vans and JanSport brands, has achieved double-digit growth over the past three quarters.

This strong performance has helped offset falling demand for VF Corp's jeans and non-sport apparel as stagnant wage growth and rising taxes force consumers to keep a lid on discretionary spending.

The company's rivals have been struggling in the volatile North American retail environment.

Yogawear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc cut its full-year forecast last month, saying sales were dropping even though customer traffic was picking up.

Gap Inc said last week that sales at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in June, hurt by declines at its Gap and Banana Republic brands.

However, VF Corp, which also owns denimwear brands Lee and Wrangler, posted an 18 percent rise in direct-to-consumer revenue, which includes sales at its own stores and online.

The company expects third-quarter revenue to increase at a rate similar to that of the second quarter, VF Corp said.

Analysts on average expect third-quarter sales of $3.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's net profit rose to $157.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 28, from $138.3 million, or 31 cents per share a year ago.

Total revenue rose 8 percent to $2.40 billion.

Analysts on average had estimated a profit of 35 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company up slightly at $62.15 in premarket trade. The stock closed at $61.60 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)