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Nike's quarterly profit beats on strong China demand

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Nike's quarterly profit beats on strong China demand

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(Reuters) – Nike Inc <NKE.N> reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, as the world’s largest footwear maker benefited from strong demand in China, its third-biggest market, and cost cuts. Nike, which has celebrity endorsements from NBA players such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, has also been quick to expand its direct-to-consumer presence by testing a pilot program with Amazon <AMZN.O> and Facebook’s <FB.O> Instagram, and sprucing up its revenue from China through revamped stores and increased online efforts with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s <BABA.N> Tmall. The company’s sales in China rose 9 percent in the first quarter ended Aug. 31. Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike in June said it would cut 2 percent of its global workforce and cut about a quarter of its shoe styles in a bid to become nimbler in the face of intensifying competition from Germany-based Adidas AG <ADSGn.DE> and Puma SE <PUMG.DE>. Nike’s selling, general and administrative expenses fell 1 percent to $2.9 billion (2.16 billion pounds) in the first quarter. The company’s net income fell to $950 million, or 57 cents per share, in the quarter, from $1.25 billion, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, Nike earned 57 cents per share, handily beating analysts’ average estimate of 48 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose marginally to $9.07 billion, but missed the average analyst estimate of $9.08 billion. Shares of the Dow component were flat at $53.65 in after-market trading on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto)
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