Adidas sees ongoing sourcing shift from China to Vietnam

FILE PHOTO: An Adidas sign is seen before the company's annual news conference in Herzogenaurach, Germany March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The chief executive of Adidas ADSGn.DE expects a shift in its sourcing of footwear from China to Vietnam to continue although he shrugged off concerns on Wednesday about the possible imposition of U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made shoes.

Factories in Vietnam produced 44 percent of Adidas footwear volume in 2017, up from 31 percent in 2012, while Chinese suppliers made 19 percent, down from more than 30 percent in 2012, Kasper Rorsted told a annual meeting of shareholders.

“I’m not going to rule out that this trend is going to continue,” he said, adding: “China is still an important procurement market, irrespective of trade duties.”

Rorsted noted that there was still a lot of uncertainty over what sectors could face new U.S. tariffs. “We might be hit by import duties but it will also apply to our competitors.”

German rival Puma PUMG.DE, which makes about a third of its products in China, said last month that it is working on contingency plans to move some production from China to other Asian markets if U.S. tariffs are imposed.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Arno Schuetze