Chinese market helping to keep Nike on fast track

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am


Nike, the world's largest maker of athletic shoes and apparel, estimates its total 'future orders', from this month to November, have risen 15 per cent year on year to US$10.3 billion, boosted by strong demand from China and other emerging markets.

The United States-based sportswear giant, which announced yesterday a 14 per cent increase in both net profit and revenue in its fiscal fourth-quarter to May, described its business on the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan as being 'driven by expanding points of distribution' and higher comparable store sales.

Its so-called future orders, scheduled for delivery this month through November this year, were up 24 per cent in China and by an overall 25 per cent in emerging markets led by Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico.

'We continue to deliver compelling innovation to athletes and consumers, and strong returns for our shareholders,' said Mark Parker, the president and chief executive at Nike. 'The global appetite for sports has never been stronger.'

Nike's net profit in its fiscal fourth quarter to May reached US$594 million from US$522 million a year earlier. Total sales hit US$5.766 billion from US$5.077 billion.

Revenue in China, Nike's second-biggest market, climbed 21 per cent to US$564 million, from US$465 million a year ago. Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit), which represent a measure of a company's profitability, advanced 21 per cent year on year to US$226 million.

In February, Nike opened its largest distribution centre in Asia at Taicang in Jiangsu province. The 200,000-square metre facility handles all inbound and outbound Nike products for the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.