"Our team delivered strong results in Q3. We did it with a relentless flow of innovation into our key categories," said Mark Parker, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. "Given the diversity of our portfolio, we're able to capture big opportunities that drive sustainable, profitable growth. At the same time we continue to invest in new ways to enhance athletic performance, build strong consumer communities, and improve how we design and manufacture our products. That’s how we increase our potential and drive shareholder value."
Third Quarter Continuing Operations Income Statement Review
Revenues for NIKE, Inc. increased 9 percent to $6.2 billion, up 10 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Excluding the impact of changes in foreign currency, NIKE Brand revenues rose 10 percent, with growth in all geographies except Greater China and Japan and in all key categories except Sportswear and Action Sports. Revenues for Other Businesses increased 9 percent as growth at Converse and NIKE Golf more than offset lower revenues at Hurley.
Gross margin increased 30 basis points to 44.2 percent. Gross margin benefitted from the combination of pricing actions and easing material costs, which more than offset higher labor costs. This benefit was partially offset by higher discounts, particularly in Greater China as the Company continues work to manage marketplace inventory. Additionally gross margin was impacted by unfavorable changes in foreign exchange rates and a shift in the mix of the Company’s revenues to lower margin geographies.
Selling and administrative expense grew at the same rate as revenue, up 9 percent to $1.9 billion. Demand creation expense was $619 million, up 5 percent from the prior year driven by sports marketing expense, and marketing support for key product initiatives and brand events. Operating overhead expense increased 11 percent to $1.2 billion due to additional investments made in the wholesale business to support growth initiatives, and higher Direct to Consumer costs as a result of higher volume-driven expenses in existing NIKE-owned stores and the cost of new stores opened in the last year.
Other expense, net was $17 million, comprised primarily of foreign exchange losses. For the quarter, the Company estimates the year-over-year change in currency related gains and losses included in other expense, net, combined with the impact of changes in currency exchange rates on the translation of foreign currency-denominated profits, decreased pretax income by approximately $19 million.
The effective tax rate was 22.8 percent, compared to 27.7 percent for the same period last year. The decrease was largely due to the benefit from the U.S. legislative reinstatement of the research and development tax credit, as well as a lower effective tax rate on foreign operations due to the geographical mix of earnings.
Net income from continuing operations increased 16 percent to $662 million while diluted earnings per share increased 20 percent to $0.73, reflecting a 2 percent decline in the weighted average diluted common shares outstanding.