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adidas-Salomon 2005 First Quarter Results

Net income rises 46% +++ Currency-neutral sales up 11%

  • Highest first quarter gross margin ever at 46.9%
  • Income before taxes grows 31%
  • Basic earnings per share increase 45% to € 2.29
  • Net borrowings reduced by € 416 million
  • Full year earnings growth expected to be at higher end of target range of 10-15% on a comparable basis

First quarter currency-neutral sales grow 11%

First quarter net sales for the Group increased 11% on a currency-neutral basis with improvements coming from all regions. This represents growth of 10% in euro terms to € 1.778 billion in 2005 from € 1.623 billion in the first quarter of 2004. Gross margin improved 1.0 percentage points to 46.9% of sales from 45.9% in the prior year. First quarter operating profit grew 27% to € 179 million in 2005 from € 142 million in the prior year. Net income attributable to shareholders grew 46% reaching € 105 million versus € 72 million in 2004. This equates to basic earnings per share of € 2.29 and represents an increase of 45% versus the prior year (2004: € 1.58 per share). Diluted earnings per share grew 36% to € 2.15 in the first quarter from € 1.58 last year.

The adoption of new and revised International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) concerning the inclusion of the operating items royalty and commission income and goodwill amortization into operating profit as well as the discontinuation of scheduled goodwill amortization positively impacted the Group’s reported financial performance in the first quarter. On a comparable basis[1]), the Group’s operating profit, IBT and net income attributable to shareholders would have increased 17%, 20% and 26% respectively during the first quarter of 2005.

“adidas-Salomon has got off to a powerful start in the first quarter of 2005,” commented adidas-Salomon Chairman and CEO Herbert Hainer. “By every key measure - sales growth, margin improvement and profitability - we’ve delivered outstanding performance.”

adidas drives top-line growth in the first quarter

Sales growth in the adidas segment set the pace for Group performance during the first quarter of 2005. Currency-neutral adidas revenues increased 11%. Drivers of this growth were significant increases in nearly all Sport Performance categories as well as strong double-digit growth in the Sport Heritage division. At Salomon, revenues decreased 8% on a currency-neutral basis during the first three months of 2005. This decline was mainly due to lower sales in the inline skates, cycling components as well as most major winter sports categories. Revenues for TaylorMade-adidas Golf increased 31% on a currency-neutral basis, mainly as a result of strong double-digit growth in the metalwoods, irons, golf ball and apparel categories. Currency effects negatively impacted sales at all brands in euro terms. adidas sales in euro terms were up 10% to € 1.512 billion in the first quarter of 2005 from € 1.378 billion in 2004. Salomon sales in euro terms declined 9% to € 112 million in the first quarter of 2005 from € 122 million in the prior year. Sales in euro terms at TaylorMade-adidas Golf grew 28% to € 149 million in 2005 from € 116 million in 2004.

 1st Quarter 20051st Quarter 2004Change y-o-y in euro termsChange y-o-ycurrency-neutral
 €  in millions€  in millionsin %in %
adidas1,5121,3781011
Salomon112122(9)(8)
TaylorMade-adidas Golf1491162831
Total1,7781,6231011

adidas-Salomon sales by brand in 2005, “Total” includes HQ/Consolidation

Positive regional sales development

From a regional perspective, Group sales in Europe grew 1% on a currency-neutral basis, driven by strong double-digit growth in the region’s emerging markets as well as solid increases in the UK and Italy. In North America, Group sales increased 20% on a currency-neutral basis, due to double-digit growth in the adidas Sport Performance and Sport Heritage divisions as well as at TaylorMade-adidas Golf. In Asia, currency-neutral sales increased 31%, driven by double-digit growth in China, Japan and Korea. In Latin America, currency-neutral sales increased 45% in the first quarter, renewing its position as the fastest growing region within the Group. The improvement was driven by double-digit sales increases in nearly all countries in the region. In euro terms, currency translation effects negatively impacted sales in the first quarter of 2005. Sales in Europe increased 1% in euro terms to € 959 million in the first three months of 2005 from € 951 million in the prior year. In North America, sales in euros increased 15% to € 378 million in 2005 from € 328 million in 2004. In euro terms, sales in Asia improved 29% to € 357 million in the first quarter of 2005 from € 276 million in 2004. In Latin America, sales in euros grew 41% to € 69 million in 2005 from € 49 million in 2004.

 1st Quarter 20051st Quarter 2004Change y-o-y in euro termsChange y-o-ycurrency-neutral
 €  in millions€  in millionsin %in %
Europe95995111
North America3783281520
Asia3572762931
Latin America69494145
Total1,7781,6231011

adidas-Salomon sales by region in 2005, “Total” includes HQ/Consolidation

Group gross margin up 1.0 percentage points

adidas-Salomon gross margin grew 1.0 percentage points to 46.9% in the first quarter of 2005 (2004: 45.9%). This represents the highest first quarter gross margin in the history of the Group and reflects the Group’s improving product mix, increased adidas own-retail activities as well as favorable currency effects due to our international sourcing structure. As a result of strong sales growth and the gross margin increase, gross profit for the Group rose 12% in the first quarter of 2005 to reach € 834 million versus € 744 million in 2004.

Operating profit grows 27%

Royalty and commission income increased 15% during the first quarter of 2005 to € 11 million compared to € 9 million in the prior year. Operating expenses, including selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) and depreciation and amortization (excluding goodwill), increased by 11% to € 665 million in the first quarter of 2005 from € 601 million in 2004. As a percentage of sales, this equates to 37.4%, which is 0.4 percentage points higher than the 2004 level of 37.0%. This development reflects timing effects in the marketing expenditures associated with the Group’s product launch schedule, which in comparison to 2004 is significantly more weighted towards the first and fourth quarters of the year. Operating expenses were also impacted by the continued expansion of adidas own-retail activities. No goodwill impairment was incurred during the first three months of 2005. This compares to a scheduled goodwill amortization of € 11 million in 2004. The Group’s operating profit increased 27% to € 179 million in 2005 from € 142 million in the first quarter of 2004, reflecting strong sales and gross margin increases. Similarly, the operating margin grew 1.4 percentage points to 10.1% in the first three months of 2005 versus 8.7% in the same period of 2004. The adoption of new and revised International Financial Reporting Standards positively impacted the Group’s reported operational performance in the first quarter. On a comparable basis[1]), the Group’s operating profit and margin would have increased 17% or 0.7 percentage points respectively during the first three months of 2005.

Income before taxes (IBT) up 31%

Net financial expenses decreased 19% to € 10 million during the first three months of 2005 (2004: € 12 million). Positive effects from the lower average debt level more than offset an increase of the weighted average interest rate. Driven by the strong operational progress and the lower financial expenses, the Group’s IBT increased 31% to € 170 million in the first quarter of 2005 from € 130 million in 2004. On a comparable basis, adidas-Salomon’s IBT would have increased 20% during the first three months of 2005.

Net income attributable to shareholders grows 46%

Net income attributable to shareholders increased 46% to € 105 million in the first quarter of 2005 from € 72 million in 2004. The strong sales increase as well as improving gross and operating margins were the main drivers of this improvement. Minority interests rose 3% to € 5 million in 2005 (2004: € 5 million). The Group’s tax rate in the first quarter declined 5.6 percentage points to 35.2% from 40.7% in 2004. As a result, basic earnings per share (EPS) increased 45% to € 2.29 for the first quarter of 2005 versus € 1.58 in 2004. First quarter 2005 diluted earnings per share grew 36% to € 2.15, up from € 1.58 in 2004. On a comparable basis, the Group’s net income attributable to shareholders would have grown 26%. Basic and diluted EPS would have increased by 25% and 18% respectively on a like-for-like basis.

Working capital improvement continues

Receivables at adidas-Salomon were reduced by 4% to € 1.295 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2005 versus € 1.346 billion in the prior year. On a currency-neutral basis, this represents a decline of 2% and reflects strict discipline in the Group’s trade terms management and concerted collection efforts at all brands. Group inventories were virtually unchanged at € 1.075 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2005 versus € 1.074 billion in 2004. On a currency-neutral basis, inventories increased 3% which is below the current backlog level and sales growth expectations.

Net borrowings reduced by € 416 million

Net borrowings at March 31, 2005 were € 629 million, down 40% or € 416 million versus € 1.045 billion in the prior year. Strong bottom-line profitability and continued tight working capital management were the main drivers of this reduction. As a consequence, the Group’s financial leverage improved 36 percentage points to 35% in 2005 versus 71% in 2004.

Order backlogs up

Currency-neutral order backlogs for adidas increased 9% (+6% in euros) versus the prior year. Overall apparel backlogs grew 14% on a currency-neutral basis (+10% in euros), highlighting the continuing strength of the “Apparel Breakthrough” initiative.

Footwear backlogs increased 5% in currency-neutral terms (+2% in euros), reflecting improvements in many categories, in particular in the Sport Heritage division. From a regional perspective, orders in Europe remained unchanged (-1% in euros). This reflects tough comparisons with the prior year resulting from the European Football Championships which drove particularly strong sales growth in the adidas football business during the second quarter of 2004. In North America, currency-neutral order backlogs increased 8% (+3% in euros). In Asia, currency-neutral backlogs grew 33% (+26% in euros).

 FootwearApparelTotal
Change y-o-y in %in €currency-neutralin €currency-neutralin €currency-neutral
Europe45(3)(2)(1)0
North America0561238
Asia2855652633
Total25101469

adidas order backlogs by product category and region as at March 31, 2005

Full year earnings growth expected at higher end of target range

As a result of the Group’s first quarter performance and in view of adidas backlog development as well as positive retailer feedback for all brands, adidas-Salomon continues to expect mid- to high-single-digit growth of Group revenues on a currency-neutral basis, with an increasingly positive outlook for North and Latin America. adidas-Salomon now projects double-digit currency-neutral growth in Asia and Latin America, high-single-digit growth in North America and mid-single-digit growth in Europe. The Group’s gross margin is expected to be at least as high as last year’s record level of 47.2%, supported by an improving product mix, an increased proportion of own-retail activities as well as favorable currency fluctuations. Driven by strong sales growth and continued gross margin strength, adidas-Salomon has increased its operating margin target and now expects to reach a level of 10% in 2005. The adoption of new and revised International Financial Reporting Standards will also be a factor in this improvement. The Group’s net income attributable to shareholders is now projected to grow at the higher end of the previously communicated target range of between 10 and 15% on a comparable basis versus the 2004 level.

Herbert Hainer stated, “We are off and running hard in 2005. With the highest currency-neutral backlogs in more than two years in North America and the 15th consecutive quarter of double-digit backlog growth in Asia, our position in two of the key growth markets is stronger than ever before.”