* Aiming for sales of 17 bln euros, operating margin of 11
* Sees 2014 currency-neutral sales up by high-single-digit
* Sees operating margin rising by 1 percentage point in 2014
* Analysts had queried 2015 targets after September profit
* CEO says pipeline of new products is full
By Victoria Bryan
FRANKFURT, Dec 3 German sporting goods maker
Adidas is counting on soccer, running and a host of
new shirts and shoes to help it achieve profit and sales growth
in 2014 and hit its 2015 goals, the company said on Tuesday.
Adidas, the world's second largest sportswear maker behind
Nike, is aiming to increase sales to 17 billion euros in
2015 and increase its operating profit margin to 11 percent that
year, compared with 11 billion and 7.5 percent in 2010.
Those targets had come under scrutiny after Adidas warned on
profit in September, but Chief Executive Herbert Hainer said
Tuesday at an event for investors the group would reach them.
He predicted 2014 sales would rise by a high single-digit
percentage when adjusted for currency effects, helped by sales
of soccer and running products, while its operating margin would
increase by 1 percentage point next year.
Still, that means Adidas will also need a similar level of
sales growth in 2015, a year without any big sporting events, as
well as a 150 basis point increase in its margin to reach the
"We believe we can grow the business by launching a lot of
new innovative products," he told journalists, adding that
measures to cut costs such as streamlining warehouses and
cutting product ranges would also bear fruit in time for 2015.
"Our pipeline of new, exciting products is full," he said.
For example, Adidas would be extending the cushioning
technology used in its Boost running shoes, launched this year,
to other categories, such as basketball, he said. Adidas expects
to sell 15 million pairs of Boost shoes in 2015.
Adidas shares were down 0.9 percent at 88.43 euros at 1521
GMT, outperforming the wider Dax index, which was down
Berenberg Bank analyst John Guy said it was reassuring that
Adidas had confirmed the 2015 targets.
"It will require another high single-digit percentage growth
in 2015 and that's aggressive but they have got a good track
record of focusing on innovation in other categories post the
big soccer years," he told Reuters.
Adidas has predicted record soccer sales of over 2 billion
euros for next year as it seeks to keep its leading position in
the soccer market ahead of Nike.
The group will later on Tuesday launch the Brazuca matchball
ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil and Hainer said he
expected Adidas would sell a record amount of soccer balls next
year, though declined to give a target.
The group will also invest in revamping its stores that sell
sports performance and original fashion gear, Hainer said.
Adidas has struggled in Europe this year, losing market
share to Nike, but Hainer said he believed the worst was over
from a macroeconomic point of view.
"We will definitely grow in 2014 in the western European
market. Southern Europe was hit hardest by the economy, but the
World Cup is helping us, especially with Spain, where we have
the world champions," he said, referring to Adidas' contract to
kit out the national soccer team.
Hainer said the group would provide more details of the
outlook for 2014 when it reports full-year results in March.