German sporting goods manufacturer Adidas-Salomon is on a winning path this year. The firm posted third-quarter sales of 1.9 billion euros ($1.91 billion) on Thursday, a 4-percent increase over the previous quarter. Profits are also up 15 percent at 131 million euros.
Last summer's World Cup Soccer championship in South Korea and Japan gave Herzogenaurach-based Adidas a significant boost, with record sales of six million soccer balls. The event also helped the company raise brand awareness in Asia, where it is seeking to increase sales. The company is also determined to build its brand in the United States, where it is the No. 2 sporting apparel maker behind Nike. However, the company is concerned about its business in Europe and, especially, the German market, where declining demand has cut into profits.
In addition to its traditional sporting equipment business, Adidas is marketing expensive trendy leisure wear, which currently accounts for close to 15 percent of sales. Adidas executives say they want to grow that share to between 25 and 30 percent of overall sales. But in Europe the company is facing stiff competition from Puma, which is now outperforming the company in apparel sales.