Adidas said that "'lacklustre' European demand and unfavourable currency developments would make the German sportswear company’s full-year targets more difficult to achieve," according to Chris Bryant of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Adidas weathered a "difficult second quarter in Europe in which it was unable to rely on a boost from any big sporting events such as the London Olympics, which lifted the comparable period last year." Second-quarter sales, "adjusted for currency swings, were stable but subject to wide regional variation." Western European sales fell 11% but sales in China increased 6% while Latin America saw a 21% increase. The group’s gross margin "increased 1.8 percentage points" to 50.1% in the second quarter (FT, 8/8). In N.Y., Nicky Redl reported adidas "lost further ground to pacesetter Nike in the sprint for sportswear customers." Overall, adidas reported a 3.8% drop in sales to $4.5B for the second quarter. Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer "played down the lower forecasts for this year," and said that adidas "is already looking ahead" to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to "boost sales of soccer-related products." Hainer: "While currency headwinds have added additional significant speed bumps to our path in 2013, from a strategic and operational perspective, we are absolutely on track" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/8).
COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR EXPANDS: In Portland, Allan Brettman reported Columbia Sportswear announced a partnership on Wednesday that will "allow the company to sell its products in India for the first time." Columbia signed an agreement with Chogori India Retail Ltd., based in New Delhi, "to serve as the company's exclusive distributor in India, effective immediately" (THE OREGONIAN, 8/7).