Momentum Continues for Adidas

NEW YORK — Strong growth in key markets is putting Adidas AG closer to achieving its plan to boost sales to 17 billion euros by 2015.

And analysts are optimistic that the firm’s brands will continue to see growth, driven by favorable response to marketing.

Erwan Rambourg of HSBC credited the company’s “All Adidas” campaign, which launched globally in March, with driving both retailers and consumers to the flagship brand.

While the numbers for Reebok were solid, he said the real performer for the quarter was Adidas. “Given the size of the brand, the growth rates are quite amazing,” he said.

Paul Swinand, an analyst with Morningstar Inc., agreed, saying Adidas’ turnaround in China was particularly impressive. “They went from suffering to hitting the ball out of the park, so that’s a huge relief in my book,” he said.

Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer also cited the formerly challenged markets of China and the U.S. as particular standouts during the quarter.

Greater China sales for the company jumped 36 percent on a currency-neutral basis, and the firm said it had capitalized on momentum in the U.S. market for both its core brands, with sales up 30 percent for Adidas and 22 percent for Reebok.

For the first quarter ended March 31, net income at the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company rose 25 percent to 209 million euros, or $294.6 million, from 168 million euros, or $225.6 million, in the year-ago period.

Revenues advanced 23 percent to 3.27 billion euros, or $4.61 billion, from 2.67 billion euros, or $3.58 billion, while gross margin stood virtually unchanged at 48.5 percent.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period.

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