NEW YORK — Sparked by explosive growth in the U.S., Nike Inc. reported apparel sales surged 62 percent in the second quarter, ended Nov. 30, to $374.4 million from $231.1 million.
In the U.S., apparel sales doubled to $196 million from $97.9 million while international sales advanced 34.1 percent to $178.6 million.
Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., reported total earnings rose 39.2 percent to $118.2 million, or 80 cents a share, from $84.9 million, or 58 cents, a year ago. Sales climbed 36.9 percent to $1.44 billion from $1.05 billion.
In a statement, Phillip H. Knight, Nike’s chairman, said Nike’s apparel business “continued to show tremendous growth,” particularly in the U.S. — aided by Nike’s brand strength.
“These strong apparel numbers are the result of broadening our product mix, improving our presentation at retail and developing a strong ‘on-the-field’ image while maintaining our focus on the athletic consumer,” Knight said. Apparel growth continues to outpace Nike’s other product areas. Nike’s athletic footwear sales grew 22.4 percent in the quarter to $933 million, rising 18.2 percent to $538.5 million in the U.S. and 28.6 percent to $394.7 million internationally. Sales from other brands gained 14 percent, excluding the acquisition of Canstar Sports in February 1995. Including that acquisition, other brands — which include Cole Haan, Tetra Plastics and Sports Specialties — moved ahead 124 percent to $135.4 million from $60.4 million.
International gains were led by “strong double-digit increases” in sales for Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia and Canada.
In the six months, Nike’s earnings pushed ahead 48.2 percent to $283 million, or $1.93 a share, from $190.9 million, or $1.29, a year ago. Sales gained 37.5 percent to $3.06 billion from $2.2 billion.
Nike said its worldwide orders for delivery between December 1995 and April 1996 were up 34 percent to a record $2.7 billion. Knight said future orders have benefited by product innovation in footwear and “significantly expanding our presence in apparel.”
— Fairchild News Service

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