Weak US market hits Adidas sales

08 May 2007 • by Natalie Aster

Sportswear giant Adidas has suffered a 13% fall in quarterly profits on the back of weakness in the key US market, reported the BBC.

The German firm, which also owns Reebok, saw first quarter profits fall to 191m euros ($260m; £130m) from 220m euros for the same period last year.

Weakness in the key North American market, where sales fell 8%, limited overall revenue growth to 3%.

But Adidas said it was confident of a strong performance this year despite the absence of "major" sporting events.

Last year's figures were boosted by demand for football kit and related products around the World Cup in Germany.

Increased marketing expenditure at Reebok also ate into the firm's profits, although the investment paid dividends with a 15% rise in the brand's sales.

Adidas boss Herbert Hainer said the firm was making progress in its efforts to "revitalise" the Reebok brand, bought for $3.8bn in 2005.

"We still have a long way to go and we will maintain discipline and focus to ensure we bring about sustainable and long-term profitable growth," he said.

Adidas confirmed its sales outlook for the year as a whole, with revenues set to increase by about 5% in 2007.

Adidas shares have been boosted by takeover speculation in recent weeks, with reports linking private equity firm Apax Partners to a possible bid.