SBD/March 3, 2011/FinancePrint All
adidas AG yesterday announced that its Q4 net profit "shrank amid higher operating expenses even though improving sales in a healthier global economy powered a strong rise in revenue," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. adidas earned $9.7M in Q4, down from $26M a year earlier, but "still better than analysts' forecast" of $5.4M. Revenue was up 19.2%, climbing to $4B from $3.4B and beating analysts' prediction of $3.8B. adidas also reported 15% revenue growth at its Reebok brand. adidas America President Patrick Nilsson "noted the success of the 'Fast Don't Lie' basketball campaign" that features Bulls G Derrick Rose and Magic C Dwight Howard as "centerpiece endorsers." Nilsson said North America sales of basketball products in the quarter "generated our highest sell-throughs in the category in many years" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/3). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Holger Elfes reported adidas "has identified China along with Russia and North America as 'growth markets,' where it plans to generate about half of its forecast 50 percent sales increase by 2015." Q4 sales climbed 25% in China (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/2). In Portland, Erik Siemers reported North American sales grew a "currency neutral" 12% to $3.9B, lagging only behind Latin America with 14% and emerging European markets with 16% in overall sales growth (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/2).
Williams F1 yesterday joined the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC, and shares of the race team "have already fallen almost" 5%, according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. A Frankfurt-based trader said, "This is what I expected and I think that it will not get any easier for Williams." The trader added that F1 “was widely perceived by traders as a risky sector to invest in.” Williams F1's IPO of 2,409,383 shares carried an issue price of $34.65 (all figures U.S.), “valuing the placement at” almost $83.2M. By 5:08am ET, after “30 moves, shares were trading at” $33.47, 3.5% below the issue price, after falling to $33.16 earlier in the day. Team Principle & Chair Adam Parr said that he “did not know exactly who had bought all the shares ... but he said that it was mostly institutional investors.” Dutch investment fund Cyrte bought a 5% stake in the team. Cyrte was “founded by Dutch media mogul John De Mol," who previously "owned shares in auto manufacturer Spyker and Manchester United" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/3). Williams F1 co-Founders Patrick Head and Sir Frank Williams said that they made the “decision to sell some of their shares to help shore up the company’s future.” Williams “reduced his stake” in the team to just over 50%, while Head, “who will leave after this year, has sold most of his” 23.5% stake (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/2). Parr predicted that the Ferrari F1 team “would float within two years, and that further down the line McLaren could also widen its shareholder base” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/3).