Adidas shares take flight after golden Olympic year

Adidas ended its 11-year sponsorship deal with IAAF, four years before early due to allegations of doping and corruption. [Photo/Reuters]

Shares in German sports goods maker Adidas leapt in Frankfurt on Wednesday as the firm reported record profits for Olympic and European Championship year 2016 and offered confident forecasts.

Adidas stock gained up to 8.0 percent in early Frankfurt trading, before falling back to 171.70 euros ($181.27), 7.5 percent higher than they opened, just before 0845 GMT.

The Bavaria-based firm earlier said it increased net profit by 60.5 percent, to 1.02 billion euros ($1.07 billion), topping a billion for the first time in its history and beating both its own forecasts and analyst predictions.

Chief executive Kasper Rorsted hailed 2016 as an “exceptional year” for Adidas, with double-digit growth in almost all regions of the world.

Adidas increased operating, or underlying profit 41 percent to almost 1.5 billion euros, on revenues of 19.3 billion euros, up 14 percent over 2015’s figure.

The firm said it was able to increase revenues despite “severe headwinds linked to negative currency effects”, adding that revenues increased 18 percent if corrected for exchange rates.

“Building on our performance, our momentum continues and we will again achieve strong top- and bottom-line improvements in 2017,” Rorsted said.

Looking to this year, the company predicts revenue growth of between 11 and 13 percent, adjusting for currency effects, and aims to increase its profit by 18-20 percent to around 1.2 billion euros.

Much of 2016’s success for Adidas was down to strong growth of 16.6 percent at its central three-striped brand, which accounts for the lion’s share of its revenues, while Reebok grew much more modestly at 1.1 percent.

Sales at golf equipment subsidiary TaylorMade continued a run of bad performance, falling back slightly over the year.

Citing its strong results, Adidas said it would offer shareholders a dividend of 2.00 euros per share for 2016, up from 1.60 euros for the previous year.

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Story By AFP
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