The sportswear maker saw revenue for the three months to 30 November rise to $6.43bn (£3.9bn), just short of analysts’ expectations. Growth was driven by strong sales in Western Europe, particularly the UK, with the business posting a 12% year-on-year jump in sales in the period.
Similarly, Nike brand sales were up 11% worldwide following updates to its ecommerce offering and high-profile campaigns for products such as its FkyKnit range.
Nike has been clawing away at Adidas’ dominant position in the European football market this year following a series of poor sales performances by its German rival. Nike says it is preparing an “unprecedented” level of product innovation for the World Cup. The sportswear maker, which is supplying the kits for 10 competing teams including host nation Brazil, is to use the excitement in the run-up to the tournament to push football products such as its HyperVenom boot, which was launched earlier this year and has been hailed as the company’s most successful boot launch ever.
The World Cup effort forms part of a wider Nike push to seize on a bumper year for sport with the Winter Olympics also taking place. The company, which is past master of associating with events it does not sponsor, has already started activating around the Sochi Games through its “Play Russian” campaign.
Speaking to analysts on a conference call yesterday (19 December), Mark Parker, president and chief executive of Nike says the business will continue to “capitalise on the best opportunities to drive sustainable, profitable growth.”
“In 2014, we look forward to some of the most compelling moments in sports. The Super Bowl, Winter Olympics in Sochi, and of course the World Cup, just to name a few. At Nike, events like these are inspiration points for us.
“These are the moments when we share the stage with the world’s greatest athletes and showcase our most innovative products, the products that will go on to transcend these individual events and catalyse new momentum in the marketplace around the world, “he says.
Elsewhere, Converse revenue jumped 11 per cent year-on-year to $360m (£220m) in its second quarter following growth in the UK, North America and China. Nike is planning to diversify the footwear business beyond the Chuck Taylor All Star shoe in 2014 alongside launching new lines for its apparel range.