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Strong demand propels Q1FY15 sales & EPS at Nike
Sep '14
Strong demand for brands boosted revenue growth and diluted earnings per share grew faster than revenue, mainly due to gross margin expansion in the first quarter ended August 31, 2014 at Nike Inc.

Net income increased a staggering 23 percent year-on-year to $962 million in first quarter of 2014, while diluted earnings per share surged 27 percent, also from a year ago quarter to $1.09.

Revenues at Nike rose 15 percent year-on-year, on both a reported and currency neutral basis, to $8.0 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2014, the apparel and footwear marketer said.

Sales for the Nike Brand totalled $7.4 billion, up 15 percent from a year ago quarter on a currency neutral basis, with growth in every product type, geography and key category, except Action Sports and Golf.

The Converse brand posted revenue of $575 million, also up 16 percent from prior year quarter on a currency neutral basis, driven by market conversions in Europe and Asia.

"Fiscal year 2015 is off with a strong start mainly from our connection to consumers and ability to innovate, combined with our powerful global portfolio”, said Mark Parker, CEO.

“Nike has never been better positioned to realize our tremendous growth potential”, he added

In the first quarter of 2014, gross margin rose 170 basis points to 46.6 percent which Nike attributed to shift in product mix to higher margin products and higher average prices.

However, selling and administrative expense grew 21 percent to $2.5 billion from a 23 percent increase in marketing expense, mainly driven by marketing investments in the World Cup.

On the other hand, operating overhead expense also increased 19 percent to $1.6 billion due to higher costs for the expanding DTC business and investments in operational infrastructure.

The effective tax rate fell to 21.7 percent in the quarter under review, compared to 25.0 percent for the same period last year, mainly from resolution of tax audits across several jurisdictions.

Nike also attributed the decline in tax rates to an increase in earnings from operations outside of the U.S., which are generally subject to a lower tax rate.

Inventories as of August 31, 2014 rose 14 percent year-on-year to $4.0 billion, driven by a 13 percent rise in Nike Brand wholesale inventories as well as with inventory growth at DTC and Converse.

First quarter of 2014 cash and short-term investments stood at $4.6 billion, $1.0 billion lower than last year as growth in net income was more than offset by share repurchases and investments in working capital and higher dividends.

As of the end of the quarter, worldwide futures orders for Nike Brand athletic footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery from September 2014 through January 2015 were 11 percent higher, Nike reported. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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