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adidas Q4 sales growth in double digits
Mar '08
Fourth quarter adidas Group currency-neutral sales grow 14%. Fourth quarter Group revenues grew 14% on a currency-neutral basis. This development was driven by strong sales increases at both adidas and TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Reebok sales, however, declined.

On a regional basis, sales grew by double-digit rates in all regions except North America, where sales increased at a low-single-digit rate. Currency movements negatively impacted revenues in euro terms. Group sales in euro terms increased 8% to € 2.419 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 (2006: € 2.248 billion).

Fourth quarter gross margin increased 3.2 percentage points to 46.6% (2006: 43.4%) as a result of underlying improvements in all segments.

Cost synergies resulting from the combination of adidas and Reebok sourcing activities and, to a lesser extent, the non-recurrence of negative impacts from purchase price allocation in the Reebok segment also positively impacted gross margin development. Group gross profit increased 15% to € 1.127 billion (2006: € 976 million).

Operating expenses as a percentage of sales increased mainly due to higher marketing expenses in the adidas segment. As a result of the strong gross margin increase, which more than offset the increase in operating expenses, the Group's operating margin increased 0.2 percentage points to 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2007 versus 2.3% in the prioryear. Operating profit grew 18% to € 61 million versus € 52 million in 2006.

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