Adidas Sees Higher Profit After 2015 Earnings Beat Estimates

  • Sportswear maker raises sales, profit outlook for this year
  • Incoming CEO Rorsted must wrangle rising costs, Nike fight

German sportswear maker Adidas AG raised its sales and earnings outlook for this year, giving a boost to incoming Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted before he even starts.

Revenue and operating profit will rise at a double-digit rate, the Herzogenaurach-based company said Thursday in an unscheduled statement, sending the shares up as much as 4.8 percent. It had previously forecast high-single-digit growth on both measures. Adidas also reported sales and profit for last year that topped analysts’ estimates.

The increased forecast provides a further boost to Adidas, coming less than a month after the company appointed Henkel CEO Rorsted to succeed Herbert Hainer at the helm. Rorsted is due to join in August, right before the start of the Olympic Games in Brazil. Along with this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer championships in France, the games will showcase Adidas’s brand and drive demand for sneakers and sportswear, according to Cedric Rossi, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co.

“The two major sporting events occurring this year will be key catalysts for the group,” Rossi said in a note.

Adidas shares rose 0.7 percent to 87.61 euros at 10:36 a.m. in Frankfurt, the only stock to advance in Germany’s benchmark DAX Index, which fell 2.9 percent.

The company, whose costs are rising amid a market share battle with Nike Inc. and smaller competitors such as Under Armour Inc., said its operating margin this year will be at least be stable, even as it reckons with higher material and labor costs in Asia.

Revenue in 2015 rose 16 percent to 16.9 billion euros ($19 billion), and net income from continuing operations increased 12 percent to 720 million euros. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average had expected 16.7 billion euros in revenue and 711 million euros in profit.

Adidas is scheduled to report full-year results on March 3 and hold a press conference at its headquarters, Hainer’s last annual presentation of annual sales since taking the reins in 2001.

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