Adidas is still crushing Nike and Under Armour in America

Adidas just did it.The sports apparel maker posted another quarter of double-digit sales growth in North Ameri...

Posted: May 3, 2018 1:10 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 1:10 PM

Adidas just did it.

The sports apparel maker posted another quarter of double-digit sales growth in North America on Thursday, beating competitors Nike and Under Armour on their home turf.

Adidas said that first quarter sales in the region grew 21% over the previous year, a performance fueled by a renewed focus on marketing and celebrity partnerships with the likes of Pharrell Williams. North American sales have recently slumped at both Nike and Under Armour.

Shifting consumer tastes towards casual street wear have helped the brand, which sells the popular Stan Smith sneakers.

The trends have produced a remarkable run for Adidas: Its North America sales have now increased by 20% or more in nine consecutive quarters.

CEO Kasper Rorsted said the company's overall performance was in line with his expectations. He said the company would continue to focus on North America, China and e-commerce.

Global sales increased 10%, and net income jumped 17% over the previous year. While analysts were impressed with the wider profit margins, the results fell short of some expectations and the stock fell 1%.

Related: Lululemon's big comeback

Adidas is still much smaller than Nike in North America.

Nike reported North American sales of $15.2 billion in fiscal 2017 versus -4.3 billion ($5.1 billion) for Adidas.

But momentum is with the German company: Nike sales fell 6% in North America during the three months ended February, and Under Armour reported on Tuesday that its North America revenue dropped 1% in the first quarter.

Adidas is not without problems, however.

Kanye West, one of its celebrity brand ambassadors, has come under intense scrutiny this week after suggesting that slavery in the United States had been a choice.

Rorsted told Bloomberg TV on Thursday that West is important for the company's brand, but declined to comment on the rapper's controversial remarks. The CEO said Adidas was not considering dropping West as a partner.

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