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Adidas gets World Cup boost despite Nike's dominance on field

Frankfurt

ADIDAS AG got a boost from the World Cup, selling record numbers of jerseys even though the national teams it sponsors lost out to countries supported by rival Nike Inc.

The German sportswear giant's shares rose as much as 7.5 per cent on Thursday after it posted second-quarter revenue and profit that beat analyst expectations, lifted by sales of football merchandise and growth in the United States and Asia.

Adidas World Cup shirt sales topped the eight million sold in connection with the tournament in Brazil four years ago, Adidas chief executive officer Kasper Rorsted said in an interview with CNBC.

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That's despite the fact that the final at this year's event, in Russia, was contested by two teams wearing Nike uniforms - winner France and runner-up Croatia.

The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company withstood a shift in off-the-field fashion away from minimalist classic shoes like the Stan Smith sneaker and toward so-called "dad shoes" - chunkier versions of designs from the 1980s and 1990s. German competitor Puma last month said the change hurt its sales in the first half of the year.

Adidas said revenue adjusted for currency swings rose 10 per cent to 5.26 billion euros (S$8.3 billion) in Q2, driven by a 12 per cent gain at its namesake shoe brand. Analysts on average predicted 5.17 billion euros in revenue.

The company saw double-digit growth in North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Russia.

It also reiterated a forecast for 10 per cent currency-adjusted sales growth this year.

Adidas shares are down 1.5 per cent in the past year, compared with gains of more than 15 per cent for Puma SE and 34 per cent for Nike Inc. BLOOMBERG