Nike boosted earnings by 20.1 per cent in its latest quarter, on sales up a much more modest 5 per cent.
While the bottom line was impressive – aided by a substantial reduction in costs – the top line growth trailed Adidas’ impressive 18 per cent growth achieved in 2016.
In the three months to February 28, Nike sales totalled US$8.4 billion, up 7 per cent on a currency-neutral basis. Of that, the Nike brand accounted for $7.9 billion, driven by 15 per cent growth in Greater China, 10 per cent in Western Europe, 12 per cent in emerging markets and 8 per cent in Japan.
Sales at Converse were up 3 per cent to $498 million.
“The power of Nike’s diverse, global portfolio delivered another solid quarter of growth and profitability,” said Mark Parker, chairman, president and CEO of Nike.
“To expand our leadership and ignite Nike’s next phase of growth, we’re delivering a relentless flow of innovation through performance and style, increasing speed throughout the business and creating more direct connections with consumers leveraging digital and membership.”