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Adidas sales pick up pace as Europe recovers

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By Reuters
Adidas sales pick up pace as Europe recovers
FILE PHOTO: The Adidas shoe Azteca Gold 1968 is displayed during celebrations for German sports apparel maker Adidas' 70th anniversary at the company's history exhibition in Herzogenaurach, Germany, August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo   -   Copyright  Andreas Gebert(Reuters)

BERLIN (Reuters) – German sportswear company Adidas <ADSGn.DE> said it expects a significant acceleration of sales in the fourth quarter after it reported stronger-than-expected sales and operating profit for the third quarter as it returned to growth in Europe.

Sales rose a currency-adjusted 6% to 6.41 billion euros ($7.10 billion), beating average analyst forecasts for 6.32 billion euros, while operating profit was flat at 897 million euros, also above analyst consensus for 882 million euros.

Shares in Adidas were up 1.1% at 0716 GMT in early Frankfurt trade.

Adidas has eroded Nike’s <NKE.N> dominance of the U.S. market in recent years, but Nike has been growing faster in China and Europe, a trend that continued in the latest results.

Nike reported sales rose a currency-neutral 10% for the quarter ended Aug. 31, helped by a push to sell to consumers through its own stores and online. Sales in China jumped 27%, but rose by a slower-than-expected 4% in North America.

Adidas sales rose 11% in China in the July-September quarter and 10% in North America, while it returned to growth in Europe, expanding 3%, as it moved to cut its reliance on its Originals fashion line and boost sales of sports performance gear.

Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted said he remained confident of a significant pick up in sales in the fourth quarter and confirmed a full-year outlook for currency-neutral sales growth of 5-8% and net income from continuing operations of between 1.88 and 1.95 billion euros.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Michelle Martin)