Adidas raises 2024 outlook after strong first quarter

By Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Adidas on Tuesday raised its 2024 profit outlook after what the German sportswear giant said was a better than expected first quarter.

In an unscheduled announcement, the company said it now expects full-year operating profit of about 700 million euros ($744 million), up from 500 million euros previously forecast.

The upbeat comments about 2024 come a month after Adidas posted its first annual loss in more than three decades, warning sales in North America would fall again as sportswear retailers in the U.S. struggle with high inventories.

Currency-neutral sales are expected to rise by a mid-to high single-digit percentage in 2024, up from a mid single-digit rate, it said.

Frankfurt-listed shares in the company, which is scheduled to publish final first-quarter results on April 30, were up 3.5% on the news.

Adidas said quarterly operating profit reached 336 million euros, up from 60 million a year earlier, when it was hit by the break-up with Kanye West and the discontinuation of its Yeezy business.

Adidas further said it sold another 150 million euros worth of Yeezy products in the quarter, for an operating profit of around 50 million euros.

The remainder of Adidas’ Yeezy inventory would likely be sold for about 200 million euros later this year, but without any further profit contribution, the company said.

Adidas said it continued to expect unfavorable currency effects to weigh on its profitability this year, a trend that it says would hit “both reported revenues and the gross margin development in 2024”.

($1 = 0.9409 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by David Goodman and David Evans)