Basketball gives Nike sales a slam dunk
A rebound in basketball drove strong Nike sales and profit growth in the last quarter.
The US-headquartered sports giant has reported a profit rise of 7.3 per cent to US$842 million in the three months to November 30, with sales up 6.4 per cent, to $8.18 billion. Excluding the impact of currency rates, profit rose 8 per cent.
Sales in the basketball category, which includes its Jordan brand, accounted for 15 per cent of wholesale revenue in 2016. And even greater growth is expected in the next quarter after the brand lost momentum in the core category in previous periods.
“We’re seeing incredible momentum in basketball,” said Trevor Edwards, president of Nike Brand. “To be clear, basketball is back.”
Sales in China rose 12 per cent, and in the US by 3 per cent.
Nike has moved to drive more direct sales, improved its online sales apps and adjusted pricing on some of its marquee products, including basketball shoes.