Nike to make like Air Jordan after sales hit quarterly record

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Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) revenues jumped to their highest ever level in the past quarter as demand for trainers and ‘athleisure’ wear boomed.

Quarterly sales slam-dunked the US$12bn mark for the first time in the Beaverton, Oregon company’s 50-year history, up 96% on the pandemic hit period a year ago to US$12.3bn and 21% higher than two years ago.

“These are times when strong brands can get stronger, and each quarter, this reality becomes even more clear,” chief executive officer John Donahoe told analysts on a call.

He said 12 months to 31 May were a “pivotal year” for the group as the pandemic accelerated its direct-to-consumer strategy, with the fourth quarter also seeing pent-up consumer demand.

Direct sales those its own stores and digital channels leapt 73% to US$4.5bn in the fourth quarter and up 32% to US$16.4bn for the year, contributing to full-year sales increasing 19% to $44.5bn.

Revenue in the May ended quarter nearly doubled to $12.34 billion from $6.31 billion a year ago, when sales were depressed by the spread of Covid-19.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the fourth quarter came in at US$0.93, versus a consensus forecast of US$0.51.

Sneakerheads nodding

The shares have Air-Jordaned almost 14% higher to over $151 in pre-market trading and the results were also giving a boost to retailer JD Sports Fashion PLC (LON:JD.), which has a good relationship with Nike and runs substantial chains on both sides of the Atlantic, including Finish Line, Shoe Palance and DTLR Villa in the US.

JD shares, which hit an all-time high earlier this month, were up 3% to 944.6p in London. 

Another results of the sky-high demand for trainers was also seen in the US$3.7bn valuation given this week to Goat Group, operator of an online marketplace for ‘sneakerheads’ and ‘hypebeasts’, more than double its valuation nine months ago.

Goat, which said its platform saw US$2bn of popular or rare trainers change hands over the past year, raised US$195mln from private investors this week, following a US$100mln funding round in September.

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