Stephen B. Bratspies
Chief Executive Officer at Hanesbrands
Thank you, T.C. Good morning, everyone, and welcome. I'd like to begin by thanking the entire Hanesbrands team around the world. This past 1.5 years has been marked by a constant stream of macro challenges. I've been amazed by our associates' dedication and resilience as they rise to any occasion, find solutions and deliver results. As I've said before, our associates are our greatest strength. They're an integral part of the success of our Full Potential plan, and I want to recognize all of their hard work. Hanesbrands delivered strong third quarter results. Revenue was in line with our forecast despite an unexpected lockdown in Australia that closed 2/3 of our stores for essentially the entire quarter.
Operating profit and earnings per share exceeded the high end of our guidance range. We generated strong operating cash flow, and our leverage improved. Today, I'd like to highlight four key takeaways from the quarter. Number one, consumer demand for our brands remains extremely strong around the world. Two, our diversified supply chain is a competitive advantage. We're in a good inventory position, and we believe we will continue to capture strong consumer demand. The manufacturing of our product has not been an issue. Three, our entire global team continues to effectively manage through the various macro challenges. This was evident in our strong third quarter results and our reiteration of our fourth quarter guidance. And finally, our Full Potential plan is on track.
Despite all the global disruptions, we continue to effectively execute our long-term growth strategy. Let me expand on each of these highlights. Consumer demand for our products and brands remains strong. Since our May Investor Day, we've increased our full year revenue outlook by more than $500 million and our profit outlook by $90 million. We continue to experience broad-based point-of-sale momentum, which is driving market share gains in both our Innerwear and Activewear businesses.
For the quarter, Champion brand sales were up 20% compared to 2019, with growth balanced between the U.S. and international. Champion is all about being fun and inclusive. Consumers around the world love that Champion gives them the confidence to express themselves and to feel good doing it. As a result, Champion U.S. share position increased in the quarter in both men's and women's categories.
In Europe, we continue to execute our Champion growth strategy with expansion in key categories, such as kids and footwear, increased space gains as well as expansion into new geographies. And in China, we continue to expand our consumer touch points. We're adding stores through our partners. We're broadening our product assortment with key pure plays, and we're expanding onto social e-commerce platforms.
In U.S. Innerwear, year-to-date, our market share increased 140 basis points from 2019 with share and space gains across categories and brands, including Hanes and Maidenform. We're seeing strong consumer response and returns from our increased marketing investments, particularly in intimates. Our consumer need-based innovation strategy is delivering great new products. Investment behind our Maidenform Tame your Tummy shapewear product, our Maidenform One Fab Fit bra and our Bali Easylite bras has driven increased market share as well as retail space gains and incremental distribution. And Total Support Pouch continues to exceed our expectations.
We have plans in place to expand the franchise globally and introduce additional product features to continue to win in men's underwear. Iconic brands, outstanding products and effective marketing, it's a great strategy. It works, and we're seeing it play out in our Innerwear and Activewear businesses. Next, I'd like to touch on our supply chain, which is clearly demonstrating why it's a competitive advantage. Our diversification strategy balances production between Asia and Central America. We operate with a strong owned manufacturing base and with long-term sourcing partners that are spread across 29 countries. This advantaged approach has given us the resilience, flexibility and visibility to successfully manage through the macro challenges over the past 18 months.
Production across all 32 of our owned manufacturing facilities was up and running throughout the quarter. As strong consumer demand for our brands has continued throughout the year, we have been able to increase production to keep up. By the end of the year, we expect we'll have made nearly 25% more units than our initial 2021 plan. This has allowed us to capture the stronger-than-expected demand all year.
It also puts us in a good inventory position for the fourth quarter and into the first quarter of 2022 to continue to capture the consumer momentum in our brands. Making our product has not been a significant challenge for us, but we are not immune to the other macro challenges. Like the vast majority of companies around the world, we're facing worldwide transportation bottlenecks as well as higher levels of inflation.
This is lengthening the time it takes to get product from our manufacturing facilities to our customers. It's also increasing costs. Our team has done an amazing job managing through the various macro challenges all year. This was evident in our strong third quarter results, especially when you consider the extended government lockdowns in Australia were not contemplated in our prior guidance.
We're delivering cost savings and efficiency opportunities. We're leveraging our scale and our global footprint. We're also aggressively managing expenses without sacrificing the full potential investments that will drive growth. This gives us confidence to reiterate our fourth quarter guidance despite the increasingly challenged macro environment. Adding to our confidence, the consumer demand environment remains strong.
We have inventory to meet the demand, and consumers in Japan and Australia are gradually returning to stores as the government lockdowns have recently been lifted. Looking into 2022, we expect the broad-based inflation pressures to continue. This isn't anything that's unique to us. Inflation is impacting everyone globally. We're aware of the pressures, and we're working to mitigate the impact.
This includes raising prices globally as we know our brands have pricing power. We're being thoughtful in our approach and keeping the consumer at the center of our decisions. Plus, we're continuing to work on additional cost savings and efficiency initiatives. Turning to our Full Potential plan. We continue to execute our long-term growth strategy. Media and marketing investments behind our brands continue to ramp.
We're encouraged by the returns we're seeing on these investments. And in line with our Full Potential plan, we expect brand investment to continue to increase in the fourth quarter and again in 2022. We continue to improve the consumer experience on our e-comm sites. We've added capabilities, we've increased site speed, we've improved inventory availability, and we've enhanced search functionality to name a few.
This has helped drive higher conversion rates and higher average order values on our sites globally. In addition, we're progressing on our technology modernization initiative. We plan to simplify our systems down to nine core platforms running on a single core technology backbone. This will help us globalize the business and reduce costs. It will drive better business insights and consumer connections, and it will improve decision-making, forecasting and planning. We have completed the planning and scoping for this initiative and are beginning our phased implementation.
We're also building a winning culture at Hanesbrands. We continue to add talent to the organization. In the last several months, we've brought on a number of key leaders in our Champion business, our global brand marketing team as well as in our HR organization. We've also initiated a voluntary retirement program to create more career growth opportunities for our associates and to generate savings that will be reinvested in the business.
And lastly, we've taken an integral step in our Full Potential plan to simplify and focus our global portfolio. We signed an agreement for the sale of our European Innerwear business. We greatly appreciate our Hanes European Innerwear team's hard work, partnership and understanding throughout this process as we drive greater resource and investment focus and improved operating speed. Our Full Potential plan is progressing as expected. We're encouraged with the results we're seeing, and we remain focused and committed to executing our long-term growth strategy. So in closing, consumer demand for our brands remains strong. Our diversified and resilient supply chain puts us in a good inventory position to capture demand. And despite macro challenges, we're delivering strong results while simultaneously executing our Full Potential growth strategy.
And with that, I'll turn the call over to Michael.