May 3, 2018 / 5:58 AM / 5 months ago

North America and China drive Adidas growth but Reebok slips

BERLIN, May 3 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Adidas reported better-than-expected first-quarter net profit on Thursday as sales grew rapidly in China and North America, although its Reebok business continued to struggle.

Net profit rose 17 percent to 542 million euros ($650 million) as sales grew a currency-adjusted 10 percent to 5.55 billion euros.

The net profit figure exceeded an average analyst forecasts for 510 million euros in a Reuters poll, but sales were slightly shy of consensus for 5.59 billion.

Adidas said sales had risen 21 percent in North America, where it has been taking market share from rival Nike, and 26 percent in greater China, although Reebok sales fell 3 percent, due to declines in the training and running categories.

Adidas confirmed its 2018 forecast for currency-neutral sales to rise around 10 percent in 2018, with an operating margin of between 10.3 and 10.5 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2017. ($1 = 0.8342 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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