Adidas sprints to record profits in 2011 | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.03.2012
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Adidas sprints to record profits in 2011

The world's second-biggest sportswear producer, Adidas, boasted record earnings in 2011, thanks to rising demand in China and North America. Upcoming major sports events in 2012 should make the company thrive further.

The German-based shoe and sports gear maker Adidas on Wednesday reported record earnings throughout last year, with its net profit rising by 18 percent to 671 million euros ($881 million).

Operating profit was up 13.1 percent to 1.011 billion euros on an 11.3-percent increase in the company's sales totaling 13.344 billion euros. The sportswear maker attributed the positive result to stronger demand particularly in China and North America.

"We enjoyed our fastest organic sales growth since 2006," said Adidas' Chief Executive, Herbert Hainer. "We improved our profitability, and we ended the year with our balance sheet in top shape," Hainer added.

Adidas, which is the world's second-biggest sportswear company after Nike, said net profit in the final quarter of 2011 alone rose to 18 million euros, up from seven million euros logged for the same quarter in 2010.

Shareholders to profit, too

The company's 2011 results were slightly above market expectations. The management announced that it would raise the dividend for investors by 25 percent to reach one euro per share.

In 2012, Adidas hopes to even beat last year's results on the back of important sports events, such as the 2012 Olympics in London and the UEFA EURO Soccer Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

"There's always great buzz and excitement around major sports events, and they don't come bigger than the London Olympics and the EURO 2012," said CEO Herbert Hainer.

Adidas' US subsidiary Reebok is expected to help boost profit by focusing more on fitness products. The group's overall 2012 earnings are forecast to reach between 736 and 770 million euros.

hg/nk (AFP, Reuters, AP)