Adidas sticks to World Cup sales outlook despite Germany's exit

BERLIN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Adidas (ADSGn.DE) is left with just three of its seven sponsored teams in the World Cup, but the German sportswear maker is sticking to its sales outlook for the tournament nonetheless, a spokesperson said on Friday after Germany's shock exit.

The company still expects World Cup sales of around 400 million euros ($421 million), according to the spokesperson, who said sales were currently higher than those at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Germany's HDE retail association was less optimistic.

"Without the German team, experience shows that interest in fan merchandise and other World Cup items drops rapidly," HDE spokesperson Stefan Hertel said.

Four-time champions Germany crashed out of the World Cup despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in their last Group E match on Thursday, tumbling out at the first hurdle for the second consecutive time.

A closed Adidas store is pictured during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hamburg, Germany March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

Football shirts for the German team, which was eliminated as Japan and Spain advanced to the knockout stages of the competition, were on sale by the following day with a 50% discount on Adidas's online shop.

But the company spokesperson in Qatar, which is hosting this year's competition, remained upbeat.

"As much as we're hurt by Germany's elimination, we're benefiting from the international enthusiasm in Qatar," the spokesperson said.

Adidas, one of FIFA's seven global partners, will still be represented in the tournament on the strips of Spain, Argentina and Japan.

World leader Nike (NKE.N) has taken nine of its 13 national teams into the next round, and one more could join. Of Puma's (PSMGn.DE) six teams, Senegal and Morocco have already qualified, and two others still had a good chance of doing so on Friday.

($1 = 0.9503 euros)

Reporting by Alexander Huebner, Rene Wagner and Nobuyo Saito; Writing by Miranda Murray and Rachel More; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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