Sports apparel maker adidas reported better-than-expected earnings, thanks to growth in online trading and a boost to its North American and Chinese performance, where both markets saw a strong 30% sales rose in the first quarter of 2017.
The year-on-year growth was driven by the adidas and Reebok brands and is in line with estimates based on the brands ongoing upward trend in the China market.
Colin Currie, managing director of adidas, Greater China, said in a statement, “The outstanding result once again confirms adidas’ rapidly growing appeal amongst Chinese consumers as both a sport performance and sport-inspired lifestyle brand and takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of becoming China and the world’s best sports brand by 2020.”
The first quarter figures build on the company’s strong performance in 2016 which saw sales for Greater China increase 28%, making it the fastest growing market for adidas globally.
China remains one of the key drivers behind adidas global growth, with the market’s Q1 growth just behind North America at 31% and well ahead of Japan at 21% and MEAA at 15%.
adidas net income increased 30% year-on-year to US$494 million, while group sales grew 18.9%. E-commerce continues to be a major driver with revenues up 53% year-on-year.
In April, the sporting goods giant said it hopes to add 2,000 additional stores on top of 10,000 existing ones in China in the next three years.
In the future, adidas hopes lower tier cities to contribute 50% of its business growth in China as the urbanisation process continues and it will continue to analyse the preferable commercial zones in potential cities for new openings.
adidas has also revealed ambitious plans for Reebok, which aims to open 500 ‘Fit-Hub’ stores across China by 2020 as it seeks to become China’s biggest fitness brand.