Sales reach record level of € 6.1 billion
Herzogenaurach, February 7, 2002 - Based on preliminary figures, the 2001 adidas-Salomon sales reached € 6.1 billion, the highest level in the Group's history. This 5% year-over-year improvement is the result of higher sales figures in all brands. As anticipated, sales increased in all regions with the exception of North America. Gross margin for the Group was maintained at an industry-leading 42.6%, despite the negative effects of a strong US dollar and the highly promotional retail environment in North America.
Net income up 15%
Net income for the Group was € 208 million or € 4.60 per share. This result is 15% above last year's level and exactly in line with the targets that the Group has stated since the beginning of 2001.
This increase was driven by higher sales and operating expense reductions. Operating expenses represented 34.8% of net sales, a decrease of 105 basis points versus the prior year. In particular, Group progress on reducing marketing working budget expenditures aided this effort. In 2001, adidas-Salomon's income before taxes was € 376 million, up 9% year-over-year. Lower taxes and minorities also contributed to the earnings improvement.
€ 0.92 dividend proposed
The adidas-Salomon Executive Board will propose paying a dividend of € 0.92 per share to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May 8, 2002, the same amount as in the previous year. This decision to maintain a stable dividend level reflects the Company's ongoing dividend policy to pay out a dividend that is at a level between 15 and 20% of net income.
Final full-year results will be released on March 7, 2002.