Adidas Plans to Increase Market Share This Year on World Cup Soccer Sales

Adidas AG, the world’s second-largest sporting-goods maker, plans to gain market share this year as the soccer World Cup boosts sales.

“Against the backdrop of major sports events and our innovative product concepts, we are establishing the platform to outgrow our main competitors this year,” Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer said today at the company’s annual general meeting in Fuerth, Germany.

Adidas, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, expects record sales of more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) from soccer- related products this year. The company plans its biggest-ever marketing campaign at this summer’s tournament.

The sporting-goods maker will outfit 12 teams at the event and has already sold “several million” of its Jabulani match balls, Hainer said today. The ball has been sold since December and costs as much as 120 euros in German stores.

“Adidas will benefit the most from the tournament as it will have the biggest public presence there by outfitting more than a third of the teams,” said Christoph Schlienkamp, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf. He has a “hold” rating on the shares.

Adidas expects to almost double profit this year to between 430 million euros and 480 million euros, up from last year’s 245 million euros, Hainer said.

More than 200 players of about 700 athletes will compete in Adidas soccer shoes including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Hainer said. Messi will present Adidas’s latest F50 shoe next week in Barcelona, while the Predator X model, co-designed by former France captain Zinedine Zidane, started selling in November.

Soccer “is the heart and soul of our core brand Adidas,” Hainer said, adding that he expects to expand market leadership in the segment this year.

The shares gained as much as 73 cents after Hainer’s remarks. They were up 69 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 42.65 euros at 1:23 p.m. in Frankfurt trading. The stock has gained 13 percent this year.

Nike Inc. is the world’s biggest sporting-goods company. The U.S. company will outfit nine nations at the tournament under its main brand and one team under the Umbro brand. Puma AG, also based in Herzogenaurach, will outfit seven teams.

To contact the reporter on this story: Holger Elfes in Dusseldorf, Germany, at helfes@bloomberg.net.

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