6 May 2009

Adidas profits drop by 97%

5:50 am on 6 May 2009

Profits at Adidas in the January - March period fell 97% from a year ago after sales were hit by the economic downturn.

The German Sportswear company made 5 million euros ($US6.7 million) in net profits during the first quarter of 2009, down from 169 million euros in 2008.

Sales were down 6% on a year ago, and the company said it was facing higher raw material and wage costs. Shares in Adidas fell 10% in Frankfurt.

The company is to close some regional offices in Europe and Asia to save more than 100 million euros per year. It will also review under-performing retail stores.

Adidas is the world's second-biggest sporting goods maker after Nike.

The company bought Reebok in 2006 to help it compete against Nike, but Reebok still struggles, particularly in North America where Adidas saw its sales fall by 14% in 2008.

Nike has also been hit by falling consumer demand. In March it said it planned to halt production at three shoe factories in China and one in Vietnam.