Adidas raises 2016 outlook as it turns tables on Nike

Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:31am EDT
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By Emma Thomasson

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Adidas (ADSGn.DE: Quote) gained ground on larger U.S. rival Nike (NKE.N: Quote) at the start of 2016, reporting a jump in quarterly sales and profits and raising its outlook for the year, sending its shares to an all-time high.

Adidas is benefiting from collaborations with celebrities such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams and has scored major fashion hits with retro Superstar and Stan Smith sneakers.

The company based in southern Germany had already said it had high hopes for 2016 thanks to a busy sporting calendar including the European soccer championship and the Rio Olympics.

"For the group to have performed so strongly, it necessarily means that brand Adidas is back in vogue across the board, not just football in Europe," said Equinet analyst Mark Josefson, who rates the stock "buy".

Adidas, which had raised its guidance in February, said it now expected currency-adjusted sales to grow by about 15 percent in 2016, compared with a previous forecast for a rise of 10 to 12 percent.

It sees net profit from continuing operations rising by 15 to 18 percent, up from previous guidance 10 to 12 percent.

Nike, by contrast, last month said it expected revenue to grow in the high single digits for the year ending May 2017, less than analysts were expecting, after a strong dollar hurt sales from some of its overseas markets.

Adidas shares were up 7 percent at 5.15 a.m. ET to a new all-time high, rising by more than a quarter so far this year.   Continued...

Adidas shoes are displayed in a Sports Direct store in London March 5, 2016.    REUTERS/Kevin Coombs