Adidas AG (ADDYY) posted first quarter earnings that were largely in-line with estimates Thursday and confirmed its full-year outlook as online sales and a revitalised Reebok brand put further pressure on U.S. rival Nike Inc. (NKE)
Adidas said net income for the first three months of the year came in at €455 million ($494 million), a figure that matched the FactSet consensus but was still nearly 30% higher from the same period last year. Group sales, adidas said, rose 18.9% from the first quarter of 2016 to €5.67 billion, just shy of the €5.88 billion FactSet estimate.
"We had a strong start into the year, with continued sales and earnings momentum. Our major brands adidas and Reebok as well as all of our key markets posted double-digit sales increases," said CEO Kasper Rorsted. "As consumer demand for our products was strong across the world, we were again able to significantly improve our profitability despite ongoing currency headwinds. Building on this performance, we are confirming our full-year guidance.
"We aim to deliver double-digit revenue growth and an over-proportionate profitability increase in 2017 yet again," Rorsted added.
Reebok sales, the company said, leaped 13.3% on a currency-adjusted basis to €492 million while Adidas brand sales rose 17.6% to €4.842 billion.
The group also saw a solid rise in North American sales, with revenues in the region surging 30.6% on a currency-adjusted basis to just €988 million, while sales in China, one of its key new-market targets, grew 30.3% to €990 million.
"For 2017, adidas continues to expect sales to increase at a rate between 11% and 13% on a currency-neutral basis driven by double-digit growth in Western Europe, North America and Greater China," the company said.
Adidas shares closed at €184.51 each in Frankfurt Wednesday, with a 1.32% rise on the session taking the year-to-date gain to 23.17%, more than three times better than the 7.2% advance for Nike.