Nike Inc. sprinted to the finish line as it ended the 2013 fiscal year with stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and signs of stabilization in its challenged Chinese business.
A 21.4 percent increase in Nike brand’s North American apparel business in the fourth quarter, to $748 million, lifted the brand’s apparel volume on the continent for the full year to more than $3 billion as its North American sales overall crossed the $10 billion milestone.
Nike’s closely watched future orders metric, reflecting business booked from June through November, rose 8 percent, with the figure for the Greater China market trending up 3 percent for the period, although flat when adjusted for currency fluctuations. Future orders in North America stood at 12 percent.
In the three months ended May 31, net income rose 21.7 percent to $668 million, or 73 cents a diluted share, from $549 million, or 59 cents. Excluding discontinued operations such as the divested Cole Haan and Umbro brands, adjusted EPS was 76 cents, 2 cents above the mark expected, on average, by analysts.
Revenues were up 7.4 percent, to $6.7 billion, from $6.24 billion a year ago, while gross margin was up 110 basis points to 43.9 percent of revenues. Analysts expected slightly lower revenues of about $6.64 billion.
In his final conference call as president of Nike brand before his July 1 retirement, Charlie Denson described North America as the company’s “MVP” for both the quarter and the year. Operating profit in North America during the quarter rose 28.6 percent to $723 million on a 12 percent increase in revenues to $2.71 billion.
Sales ticked up slightly in China during the quarter, up 0.3 percent to $669 million, blunting a sales decline for the year that came in at 3.4 percent, to $2.45 billion. Similarly, a 2 percent decline in quarterly operating profit in China, to $242 million, was better than the 11.2 percent decline for the year, to $809 million.
Donald Blair, chief financial officer, pointed out that revenue in China on a currency-neutral basis was down 1 percent in the quarter “as double-digit growth in performance running and basketball was offset by declines in other categories,” including sportswear.
“The most critical step in returning this market to health is creating a more compelling, productive and profitable retail marketplace,” he added. “As Charlie noted, we’re seeing some encouraging signs.”
For the full year, net income was up 11.8 percent to $2.49 billion, or $2.71 a diluted share, while revenues expanded 8.5 percent to $25.31 billion.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)