Through its new strategy ‘Own the Game’ adidas expects to drive significant top-line growth and strong bottom-line expansion until 2025. As a result, the company will generate substantial cumulative free cash flow over the next five years. adidas plans to share the majority of this – between € 8 billion and € 9 billion – with its shareholders through regular dividend pay-outs in a range of between 30% and 50% of net income from continuing operations, complemented with share buybacks.
Against this background and with the approval of the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board of adidas AG has decided today to launch a new share buyback program in the second half of 2021. Starting on July 1, 2021, the company plans to buy back shares worth up to € 550 million until the end of the year. Taking into consideration the dividend payment of € 585 million which was made in May, the total amount of cash which the company will return to its shareholders in 2021 is expected to exceed € 1 billion.
“The decision to resume our share buyback activities reflects adidas’ strong financial profile, our positive outlook for the current year and the successful start to our new strategy ‘Own the Game’,” said Harm Ohlmeyer, CFO of adidas. “While we are increasing our investments into our brand, our direct-to-consumer channel as well as the digital transformation of the company, adidas is becoming a more free cash flow generative business than ever before.”
While the company may use the repurchased shares for all purposes in accordance with the authorization granted by the Annual General Meeting in May 2021, the company intends to cancel most of the repurchased shares, which would reduce the number of shares and the share capital accordingly.