Adidas sees big hit from emerging currencies to 2014 sales

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 1:36am EST

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, March 5 (Reuters) - German sportswear company Adidas warned on Wednesday that its results in 2014 would take a significant hit from weakening emerging market currencies like Russia's rouble even as sales are helped by the soccer World Cup.

The world's second biggest sportswear firm, which has been losing ground to market leader Nike, reported fourth-quarter sales rose 3.3 percent to 3.48 billion euros ($4.78 billion), at the top end of average analyst forecasts for 3.4 billion euros.

Adidas, which warned in September that 2013 sales and profits would not rise as much as expected, is focusing on soccer and running as it fights to maintain leadership on its European home turf as arch rival Nike gains market share.

For 2014, it expects the World Cup, exposure to emerging markets and the expansion of its retail business to help sales, although weaker currencies in markets like Russia and Argentina will have a negative impact as will higher labour costs.

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