Adidas Sales Increase, Sells Rockport

Adidas, the sportswear company based in Germany reported a rise in sales for 2014 that was better than had been expected. The company also announced it has sold Rockport a non-core shoe brand.

The second largest sportswear company in the world behind just Nike has been seeing its market share erode to its rival based in the U.S.

However, sales at Adidas were helped by the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as well as by Germany, which Adidas sponsors, winning the title.

In at unscheduled statement on Friday ahead of its full results on March 5, the sportswear company reported sales for 2014 were up by 2% to $14.8 billion euros or $16.8 billion, which beat Wall Street estimates of 14.68 billion euros.

CEO Herbert Hainer, who was under pressure in 2014 after a number of profit warnings, announced that the group saw growth in the double-digits during the fourth quarter across Greater China, western Europe, Latin America and emerging markets in Europe, without releasing any figures.

However, the CEO did not mention sales for the United States, where the sportswear maker has dropped to third behind Nike and Under Armour despite the recent signings of top professional basketball players as well as celebrities like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.

One industry analyst said that the prelim full year numbers confirmed that Adidas is doing well outside the U.S. In contrast, Russia is still a tough market, added the analyst.

Shares of Adidas, which have fallen by one third over the last year, partly due to exposure in the Russian market and the ruble, were up 3.7% on Friday, beating a rise of 1.4% in the retail index in Europe.

Adidas has been struggling in the U.S. to compete even though they purchased Reebok back in 2006, which brought the Rockport shoe brand.

Adidas said the sale of Rockport for more than $280 million to an entity formed by New Balance and Berkshire Partners would result in a hit of double-digit million euros to its profit in 2014. The sales should be complete by late 2015.

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