Adidas posts Q4 loss of ?273 million amid weakening Reebok brand but sees outlook improvement

FRANKFURT – Sports gear maker Adidas AG lost €273 million ($356 million) in the fourth quarter as it wrote down the value of its weakening Reebok brand. But it said sales and earnings would increase this year and raised its dividend payments.

Adidas shares rose after Thursday’s announcement, trading 3.7 per cent higher at €74.32 in morning trading in Europe.

The company, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, said it took a goodwill impairment of €265 million at the end of last year. It said the loss was “mainly caused because of adjusted growth assumptions for the Reebok brand, especially in North America, Latin America and Brazil.”

The net loss compared to a profit of €1 million for the same quarter in the previous year. Sales rose 4 per cent to €3.37 billion.

The company said sales revenue in Western Europe fell 4 per cent adjusted for exchange rate swings, as the year-earlier figure was boosted by sales ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament and the 2012 London Olympics.

Adidas expects sales this year to increase in the mid-single digit percentage rate, and earnings per share to rise more strongly, to between €4.25 and €4.40, compared with €2.52 for last year.

The company said management would propose a 2012 dividend payment of €1.35 per share at the annual shareholders’ meeting May 8, an increase over the €1.00 per share paid for 2011.

For the full year, net income fell 14 per cent to €526 million from €613 million in 2011. Group sales increased 12 per cent to €14.88 billion.