SHOWING ITS STRIPES: Along with its three-stripe logo suddenly becoming a fashion statement last year, Adidas AG also saw a sharp rise in pretax profits on a sales gain of 21.7 percent. The firm posted estimated pretax income of $98.68 million (150 million marks) on sales of $2.1 billion (3.2 billion marks) in 1994. A year earlier, the firm posted pretax profits of 34 million marks on sales of 2.63 billion marks.
Robert Louis-Dreyfus, Adidas chief executive, said the strong improvement resulted from better products, more aggressive marketing and “a bit of luck, which was fashion-related. The three stripes came back into popularity.”
The turnaround at the athletic footwear and activewear firm is continuing into 1995, with first-half sales likely to show an increase similar to that in 1994, Louis-Dreyfus said. However, headmitted there’s “still a long way to go compared to the competition” of Nike and Reebok. The 1994 improvement was led by the U.S., where he said the company posted “large profits,” which he wouldn’t specify, on sales of $440 million. Sales in 1995, he said, should rise to between $550 million and $600 million. Adidas AG owns 75 percent of the Portland, Ore.-based Adidas USA, with the remainder owned by the division’s current and past employees. Louis-Dreyfus said Adidas is in talks to buy out these shareholders to make the American operation a wholly owned subsidiary. These talks should be completed by mid-March, he said.
Meanwhile Sogedim, the Belgian-based holding company of Adidas International Holding GmbH, is in talks to buy the remaining 4 percent of Adidas AG it does not already own. These shares are owned by the French bank Credit Lyonnais. A deal should be completed by March 15, Louis-Dreyfus said.
Louis-Dreyfus said the shareholders are looking at taking Adidas public. “I would be surprised if it would be in 1995, but we will look quite carefully in 1996,” he said, adding that the shares probably would be listed on exchanges in Germany and the U.S. He said the offering would probably represent 20 to 30 percent of the company.
JANSPORT FOR FEET: Jansport, Appleton, Wis., has licensed Outfooters LLC, Ramsey, N.J., to produce Jansport outdoor footwear for men, women and children. It’s the first time Jansport, a VF Corp. division whose products include daypacks, backpacking gear and apparel, will have its name on footwear. Two lines will be produced — the Heritage Collection of casual styles, retailing under $100 and being launched for back-to-school selling, and the Rock Collection, for such activities as hiking and rock climbing, retailing between $100 and $200 and expected to be introduced for holiday.
PIVOT RULES ADDS EXEC: Pivot Rules, a golf lifestyle resource, has named Dan Joseph vice president of sales and marketing, a new post. Joseph was a marketing executive at Procter & Gamble.
FILA’S ENGLISH DEAL: Fila Holding SpA, Biella, Italy, signed a new joint venture agreement with Blacks Leisure Group PLC of the United Kingdom to market Fila’s footwear and apparel in the U.K.
Fila will hold a 60 percent stake and Blacks will hold the remaining 40 percent in a new company called Fila UK Ltd, which will also market products in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands.
Paul Bennet, former managing director of Dashrace Ltd., the Black’s unit that had been Fila’s exclusive U.K. distributor, was named managing director of Fila UK.
DRIVING AHEAD: Strength in golf apparel and active sportswear boosted second quarter earnings at Sport-Haley Inc., Denver, to $158,000, or 5 cents a share, from $77,000, or 6 cents on fewer shares a year ago.
During the latest quarter, the manufacturer incurred $38,000 in moving expenses related to its relocatio to a new 78,000 square foot facility. Sales doubled to $2.2 million from $1.1 million.
In the six months ended Dec.31, earnings climbed to $579,000, or 12 cents, from $115,000, or 9 cents, a year earlier. Sales surged 87.7 percent to $4.5 million from $2.4 million.
R.G. Tomlinson, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company has had “continued strong demand of women’s and men’s golf and active sportswear sold under the Haley label.” He added that December quarter is seasonally the company’s slowest period.