Soccer fever helps Nike score strong sales in North America, Europe

Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:16pm EDT
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By Devika Krishna Kumar

(Reuters) - Nike Inc (NKE.N: Quote) reported better-than-expected quarterly results, as demand for its apparel and footwear rose in North America and Western Europe after the company spent heavily on marketing ahead of the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Shares of the world's largest sports wear maker rose 3.2 percent to $79.37 in extended trading.

Nike, known for its distinctive 'swoosh' or tick logo, gets more than half of its total revenue from North America and Western Europe.

Revenue from North America rose 10 percent in the fourth quarter ended May 31, while revenue from Western Europe jumped 18 percent, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations.

"Nike is the number one brand in each of the top 10 cities in Western Europe," Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards said on a post-earnings conference call.

The company has been giving tough competition to Germany's Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE: Quote) on the hotly-contested European turf.

Nike has been "putting a lot of trend-right products into the marketplace, so there's very high demand," Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said.

Nike maintained its share of the Western Europe sportswear market at about 12 percent in 2013, while Adidas's share shrank to 12.6 percent in the year from 13.2 percent in 2012, according to Euromonitor International data.   Continued...

People walks past a Nike shop under the company logo at the Sanlitun shopping area in central Beijing, August 8, 2013.   REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic