*** Update – 6. March 2012 ***
While most of Germany focussed on carnival festivities the last couple of days, adidas Group CEOThe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company is the highest-ranking corporate officer and in charge of total management of an organisation. Herbert Hainer and I went on a short trip to our 2nd largest global market in terms of sales, China. There, we met with Colin Currie, our Managing DirectorMDMD stands for Managing Director. stands for Managing Director. adidas Group Greater China and his senior management as well as with key customers and agency partners. We also used the opportunity to meet with domestic Chinese media and correspondents of international media in the adidas Brand CenterThe adidas Brand Center is a high-quality exhibition and event hall, located at the adidas Group’s headquarters with total floor space covering 12,500m². It offers the ideal platform to present the values, concepts and product innovations of the adidas brand. It offers exhibition rooms, conference rooms and presentation areas as well as the "Walk of Fame", which highlights past milestones and future innovations of adidas., our newly opened store store in the heart of the prime shopping area of Huai Hai Lu. Let me use this opportunity to give you some insights into our business performance in China.
Within our long-term strategic business plan Route 2015Route 2015 is the Strategic Business Plan for 2015 that aims at growing the business of the entire adidas Group to € 17 billion by 2015. This plan is the most comprehensive business plan the adidas Group has ever prepared, incorporating all brands, sales channels and Group functions globally. It is our road to success: our Route 2015., we clearly defined China as one of our three key growth markets; the other two being North America and Russia/CIS. These three markets will contribute 50% of our sales growth until 2015.
And we are on a very good way: 2011 was clearly the year in which we regained momentum in China.
In the first nine months of 2011 sales in China increased by a strong 28% currency-neutral to 900 million euro. This growth was driven by all our brands. adidas grew by 28%, Reebok by 22% and our Other Businesses by 21%.
So you can expect that we have broken the 1-billion-Euro-barrier in China for the full-year 2011. In 2010 our sales in Greater China amounted to exactly 1 billion euro. More detailed information about our 2011 full-year results will be given at our annual results presentation on March 7th, 2012.
Reasons for the success
In 2011, adidas enjoyed particular strong momentum in China in the Sport Performanceadidas Sport Performance offers products in most sports categories. The key focus categories are: Football, Basketball, Running, Training and Outdoor. Everything at adidas Sport Performance reflects the spirit of our founder, Adi Dassler. The main objective is simple: make athletes better. Therefore, innovation is at the core of all adidas Sport Performance products. The target consumers are clearly those consumers who call themselves athletes, are active in sport, or simply are inspired by and love sport. categories Running, Training and Outdoor (find more information about adidas Outdoor here). On the Style side adidas Originals and the adidas Neo Label (learn more about the adidas Neo Label here) were our main success factors.
A healthy inventory situation and a clean store base give us great confidence for our future growth opportunities.
In addition to that we further expanded our store presence in China. The brand center in Shanghai was opened for example in January this year. It is the biggest sports retail outlet by a premium sports brand in Shanghai today. Here, our consumers can shop for all adidas sub-brands and labels. The store also shows that we will continue to invest into the Chinese market – be it on the retail front, in marketing and in people.
Currently, we have 2.800 employees in China. And, as in most other parts of the world, our management team in China is very diverse. Our MDMD stands for Managing Director., Colin, is Malaysian and has already worked for our Group in Hong Kong. Erick, our CFO in China is from America, our Director for Sport Performanceadidas Sport Performance offers products in most sports categories. The key focus categories are: Football, Basketball, Running, Training and Outdoor. Everything at adidas Sport Performance reflects the spirit of our founder, Adi Dassler. The main objective is simple: make athletes better. Therefore, innovation is at the core of all adidas Sport Performance products. The target consumers are clearly those consumers who call themselves athletes, are active in sport, or simply are inspired by and love sport. , Jens, comes from Germany and my corporate communication colleague, Sabrina, is Canadian-born Hong Kong Chinese. Most of them are long-term adidas Group employees and as such have witnessed the immense growth of China in the last couple of years. And they have not the slightest doubt that this growth will continue.
To see parts of Herbert Hainer’s interview with Bloomberg in which he talks amongst other things about his expectations for New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, click here.
*** Update – 6. March 2012 *** - There is now the full interview with Herbert Hainer on Bloomberg available: “adidas’ Hainer on China, sales outlook, strategy“