India fraud: Adidas slashes Reebok sales target for 2015

FRANKFURT: Adidas slashed its 2015 sales target for its struggling Reebok brand to 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from 3 billion euros after losing a major American football contract and fraud was discovered at its Indian operation.

The German company, the world's second-largest sports apparel company behind Nike, bought Reebok in August 2005 for $3.8 billion. It enjoyed initial success with a range of toning shoes, but has since struggled to find its feet.

Reuters

Sales at Reebok slumped 26 percent in the second quarter and annual revenue is expected to fall from 2011's 1.96 billion euros. Its performance contrasts sharply with the rest of the Adidas group, which expects overall sales to rise nearly 10 per cent in 2012.

Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer has said that Reebok needs to come up with new products and will focus on fitness categories such as keep-fit trend Crossfit, running, gym, yoga and dance.

The company kept an overall target to increase group sales by almost 10 per cent to 17 billion euros by 2015, with faster than expected growth at its Adidas brand and golf business offsetting the weakness at Reebok.

Sales for the Adidas brand are now expected to reach 12.8 billion euros in 2015, up 5 percent from the previous target of 12.2 billion euros.

Adidas shares, which have gained 30 per cent this year as it takes market share from rivals, touched a record high of 65.76 euros on Wednesday.

The company announced in April that it had uncovered commercial irregularities at Reebok India and replaced management there. It said the fraud and a subsequent restructuring of Indian operations would cost Adidas almost 200 million euros. The unit's two former managers were arrested on Thursday in India on suspicion of fraud.

Reuters