adidas-Salomon first quarter results1 May 2003
Highest first quarter bottom-line improvement in six years were report by adidas-Salomon with group earnings for the first three months of 2003 up by 19%. Strong growth in Asia and Europe was said to have driven the net sales improvement. Net sales increased 2% from €1,638 million in 2002 to €1,669 million in 2003. On a currency-neutral basis, sales grew 12%. Gross margin grew 0.7 percentage points to 42.5% in 2003 from 41.8% in 2002. This was achieved despite difficult retail conditions in all major markets. The Group's net income increased 19% from €43 million in 2002 to €51 million in 2003. adidas revenues increased by 6% from €1,330 million in the first three months of 2002 to €1,405 million in 2003. On a currency-neutral basis, this increase was 16% and represents the brand's highest gain in more than four years. Sales for adidas-Salomon in Europe increased 10% from €851 million in the first quarter of 2002 to €933 million in 2003. On a currency-neutral basis, this increase was 12%, representing the strongest growth in the region in seven quarters. Asia was again the fastest growing region for the Group in the first quarter. Sales increased 8% to reach €281 million in 2003 (2002: €260 million). On a currency-neutral basis, this increase was 21%. In North America, 2003 first quarter sales for the Group declined 15% to €405 million versus €475 million in the prior year. On a currency-neutral basis, however, sales increased 4%. In Latin America, sales declined 8% in the first quarter of 2003 to €36 million (2002: €39 million). On a currency-neutral basis, sales grew 45%.