In its first quarter ended Aug. 31, Nike managed to increase its total sales by 15 percent over last year’s period to $8.0 billion. Growth of the Nike brand by 15 percent was in line with that of Converse, which jumped by 16 percent to $575 million. Gross margin improved by 1.7 percentage points to 46.6 percent. Net income soared by 23 percent to $962 million.
Strong in western Europe, turn-around in China
In terms of geography, most remarkable was the development in Western Europe where the group pushed its turnover by 32 percent in reported dollars and by 25 percent in constant currencies to more than $1.7 billion. In the same region, footwear was up by 36 (29) percent to $1.1 billion. In China, where the company has performed beneath expectations for quite a while, sales were up by 18 (20) percent to $679 million. Shoes contributed $440 million thanks to an increase of 29 (31) percent.
Earnings before interests and taxes increased by 18 percent to more than $1.2 billion globally. The Ebit break-down for the Swoosh brand alone reflects to some extent, however, the currency advantages for a company which does its accounting in dollars: Ebit growth in North America by 19 percent was in line with the global increase. In euro-dominated Western Europe, Ebit was up by 52 percent. In central and eastern Europe, in return, Ebit was down by 16 percent, in Japan by 54 percent and in the emerging markets by 26 percent. In China, earnings improved by 28 percent.