This Thursday, May 8th, Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer took a stand to calm worried investors at their annual general meeting in Fürth, Germany. The eve of the AGM was overshadowed by harsh criticism from institutional investors and unsatisfactory figures for the first quarter which ended on March 31st.
Hainer summarized his altogether positive outlook for 2014 and beyond:
The CEO expects record sales of €2 billion in this category this year. As the official supplier to Fifa and sponsors of nine participating teams including Germany, Argentina and the incumbent world champion, Spain, The Three Stripes are set to be the most visible brand during the world cup in Brazil. This is as a response to critics complaining about Nike gaining market share over Adidas, not just globally, but also where it hurts the German company most: in Europe and for soccer.
Retail and fashion.
Adidas is determined to boost sales with fashion and with its own retail as follows: The Adidas Originals line will enjoy a new retail concept called ‘Neighbourhood’ which recently premiered in Berlin and will soon be rolled out in 30 larger cities globally. The NEO format of fashionable gear will be extended to countries like the Czech Republic and Poland.
The company expects solid growth from its Reebok brand, now clearly positioned as a state-of-the-art fitness label.
The group is proud to be a global market leader in the Green Sport thanks to the strong position of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. Adidas expects the golf environment to remain difficult again this year, but it is confident that TMAG will remain as global number 1 due to ground-breaking innovations.
Hainer expects overall sales to grow in high single-digit percentage points and promises the gross margin, which was already at record levels in 2013, will improve. That being as it is, these projections are dependent on exchange rates not going from bad to worse for the German company.