Eyes on 2019 finish line as Adidas picks up pace

Adidas expects sales to grow between five and eight percent in currency-neutral terms in 2019, with net profits up between 10 and 14 percent at 1.9 to 1.95 billion euros. (Shutterstock)
Updated 03 May 2019

Eyes on 2019 finish line as Adidas picks up pace

  • Operating, or underlying profits grew at the same pace, reaching 875 million euros, as revenues clambered six percent higher to 5.9 billion
  • Lower costs for raw materials, favorable exchange rates and a better mix of sales also helped boost the firm’s operating margin by 2.5 percentage points, to 53.6 percent

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German sporting goods maker Adidas said Friday that sales online and in China had pumped up profits and revenues in the first quarter, confirming its outlook for double-digit profit growth over the full year.
Between January and March, net profit leaped 17 percent year-on-year to 632 million euros ($706 million), outstripping forecasts from analysts surveyed by Factset.
Operating, or underlying profits grew at the same pace, reaching 875 million euros, as revenues clambered six percent higher to 5.9 billion.
“Double-digit sales increases in our strategic growth areas Greater China and e-commerce” helped the group to the revenue boost, chief executive Kasper Rorsted said.
While China added 16 percent in currency-neutral sales, North America inched up three percent after the group highlighted supply chain bottlenecks earlier in the year.
And Europe and Latin America each shed three percent.
Sales at the group’s flagship Adidas brand brought all the positive news, adding five percent, as subsidiary Reebok continued to struggle with a six-percent contraction.
Lower costs for raw materials, favorable exchange rates and a better mix of sales also helped boost the firm’s operating margin by 2.5 percentage points, to 53.6 percent.
Looking ahead, “we confirm our full-year outlook and remain confident” of increasing sales still faster in the second half, CEO Rorsted said.
Adidas expects sales to grow between five and eight percent in currency-neutral terms in 2019, with net profits up between 10 and 14 percent at 1.9 to 1.95 billion euros.


Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

Updated 28 May 2020

Lebanon removes banking secrecy rules to fight corruption

  • The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s parliament approved on Thursday a law to remove decades-old banking secrecy rules in order to better fight rampant corruption that has pushed the country to the edge of economic collapse.
The move opens the way for investigations into bank accounts of current and former officials such as Cabinet ministers, legislators and civil servants, state-run National News Agency reported.
The restoration of stolen public money in the corruption-plagued nation has been a key demand of protesters who have been demonstrating since mid-October against Lebanon’s ruling elite, which they blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement.
The approval of the law came two months after the Cabinet approved a draft resolution to abolish the country’s banking secrecy laws, which have turned tiny Lebanon into the region’s Switzerland, attracting clients from around the Arab world who prized the anonymity its banks offered.
The new law gives powers to National Anti-corruption Commission and a Special Investigative Committee at the central bank to investigate bank account of officials, the report said.
For Thursday’s session, Lebanese lawmakers convened inside a Beirut theater so that they could observe social distancing measures imposed during the pandemic. Dozens of anti-government demonstrators briefly clashed with riot police outside as legislators met.
As lawmakers in face masks arrived at the theater, known as the UNESCO palace, paramedics sprayed them with disinfectant before they entered, one at a time.
Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment figures soaring and the local currency losing more than half of its value against the dollar.
After the banking secrecy measure was passed, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri suspended the session until later in the afternoon when the legislators were to discuss a draft general amnesty law.
The amnesty issue has deeply divided parliamentary blocs, with Christian groups calling for pardoning Lebanese who fled to Israel after it ended its occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000, while former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and others want the release of hundreds of Islamists held as terror suspects.
Lebanon and Israel are at a state of war and some Lebanese who fled to Israel now hold Israeli citizenship. Scores of protesters demonstrated in Beirut and southern Lebanon on Thursday against pardoning those living in Israel.