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[FRANKFURT] German sports goods maker Adidas on Wednesday posted record profits in 2016, a big sporting year that featured the Olympic Games in Rio and the European Championships in France.
Chief executive Kasper Rorsted hailed 2016 as an "exceptional year" for Adidas, with double-digit growth in almost all regions of the world.
The Bavaria-based firm said it increased net profit by 60.5 per cent, to 1.02 billion euros (S$1.51 billion), topping a billion for the first time in its history and beating both its own forecasts and analyst predictions.
Adidas increased operating, or underlying profit 41 per cent to almost 1.5 billion euros, on revenues up 14 per cent over 2016's figure, at 19.3 billion euros.
The firm said it was able to increase revenues despite "severe headwinds linked to negative currency effects", adding that revenues increased 18 per cent if corrected for exchange rates.
"Building on our performance, our momentum continues and we will again achieve strong top- and bottom-line improvements in 2017," Mr Rorsted said.
Looking to this year, the company predicts revenue growth of between 11 and 13 per cent, adjusting for currency effects, and aims to increase profits 18-20 per cent to around 1.2 billion euros.
Much of 2016's success for Adidas was down to strong growth of 16.6 per cent at its central three-striped brand, which accounts for the lion's share of its revenues, while Reebok grew much more modestly at 1.1 per cent.
Sales at golf equipment subsidiary TaylorMade continued a run of bad performance, falling back slightly over the year.
Citing its strong results, Adidas said it would offer shareholders a dividend of 2.00 euros per share for 2016, up from 1.60 euros for the previous year.