Nike outperforms as its future orders rise 16pc

NIKE topped Wall Street’s profit estimates yesterday as the world’s biggest athletic shoe and clothing maker staved off margin pressures with strong sales and price increases, sending shares up 5.7 per cent in after-market trading.

The company, which also owns brands like Converse, Umbro and Hurley, said sales rose 18 per cent to $6.1bn (£4bn) in the first quarter.

Future orders, a closely watched measure of demand in coming months, were up 16 per cent to total $8.5bn.

The Oregon-based company, which competes with European sportswear groups Adidas and Puma saw income rise 15 per cent to $645m, or $1.36 a share, ahead of analysts’ expectations of $1.21 a share.

It saw gross margins slide by 270 basis points this quarter, however. But the decline was smaller than the 300bp fall it had anticipated earlier.