STOUGHTON, Mass. — U.S. apparel sales continue to thrive for Reebok International Inc., rising 33.7 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 to $122.7 million.
The company also announced a “revitalization” program aimed to upgrading apparel over the next six to eight months to include “a greater percentage of sports performance and sports fashion product along with the core basics that our apparel business was founded upon.”
In the quarter, earnings were $74 million, or $1.26 a share, against $50.6 million, or 75 cents, a year earlier. The latest quarter included a tax credit of $40 million, or 68 cents a share, related to the sale of Avia last year, partly offset by a charge of $21.1 million, or 36 cents a share, to restructure global operations.
The restructuring includes a reduction in the number of European warehouses to three from 19, the centralization of European back office functions and the implementation of a global management information system.
Sales increased 4 percent to $1 billion from $970.1 million. Worldwide sales of the Reebok brand increased 3.2 percent to $861.1 million. In the U.S., Reebok footwear sales inched up 1.5 percent to $305.3 million. Sales of Reebok brand products outside the U.S. declined 2.1 percent to $433.1 million, hurt by the strong dollar against most foreign currencies.
Backlog from October to March was up 16.1 percent, with North America ahead 20.4 percent and international ahead 8.5 percent. Reebok attributed the higher backlog to strong demand for new technology-driven footwear products.
In the nine months, earnings were $134.5 million, or $2.29 a share, after the special items, against $118.8 million, or $1.64, a year ago. Sales gained 3.3 percent to $2.78 billion from $2.69 billion.

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