Adidas stands by Reebok in spite of losses

ADIDAS is to stick with its troubled Reebok business even though the German sportswear group had to make a €265m (£230.6m) writedown on the brand at the end of last year that dragged the firm to a fourth quarter loss of €239m.

Sportswear giant Adidas, which bought Reebok in 2005 to try to close the gap with market leader Nike, last year had to cut its 2015 sales target for the brand by a third after two quarters of declining sales.

But the group believes Reebok has a future alongside the Adidas own-name brand and the TaylorMade golf unit.

“We are sticking with Reebok,” chief executive Herbert Hainer told reporters yesterday.

The company also said margin improvements would drive up profits this year as it sold more in emerging markets and drove down costs as a proportion of turnover.

The goodwill writedown was linked primarily to a weak performance in the United States and Latin America and pushed Adidas to a surprise fourth quarter loss. Operating profit for the year as a whole slipped three per cent to €920m.

For 2013, Adidas said it expects sales to increase at a mid-single-digit rate in 2013 from 2012’s record level of €14.9bn, though with a slower start to the year.

Last year was a bumper year for sports, with the Olympics in London and the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.