By  on September 21, 2007

Nike Inc.'s income soared 51 percent in its first quarter, driven by increased sales across all its regions and a onetime tax rate benefit.

For the three months ended Aug. 31, the Beaverton, Ore.-based active giant reported that earnings increased to $569.7 million, or $1.12 a diluted share, from $377.2 million, or 74 cents, a year earlier.

Sales for the quarter climbed 11 percent to $4.66 billion from $4.19 billion last year.

"We're off to a strong start as our first-quarter results reflect the power of our brands as well as the strength and diversification of the Nike Inc. portfolio," Mark Parker, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We have an aggressive growth plan to achieve $23 billion in revenue by fiscal year 2011, and we're well on our way."

Revenues grew across category and region (with the exception of 1 percent drops in both apparel and equipment in the U.S. region), led by 22 percent overall growth in the Asia-Pacific region, 16 percent in Europe and 15 percent in the Americas.

In addition to strong sales, earnings were helped by a onetime tax rate benefit "related to utilization of past foreign losses, contributing 20 cents a diluted share," according to the company, which "has now taken the steps necessary to realize this tax benefit, reducing the effective tax rate for the quarter by approximately 15.6 points."

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