NEW YORK (AP) — Nike Inc., the world's largest athletic shoe and clothing company, on Thursday reported a 22 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit as strong sales in North America offset weakness in Europe and China.
Like most global companies, Nike has been dealing with Europe's recession-hit economies and a slowdown in growth in China. Nike has been reducing its inventory in China and reworking its offerings there to adapt to the changing tastes of Chinese customers. It also has been focusing on growth in North America, selling off less profitable brands like Umbro to focus on core brands like Nike.
The company said Thursday it earned $668 million, or 76 cents per share, in the three-month period ended May 31. That compares with $549 million, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue increased 7 percent to $6.7 billion from $6.24 billion. Nike, which is based in Beaverton, Ore., said that sales increased for Nike-branded running and basketball products as well as for men's and women's training categories. That offset declines in sportswear, action sports and soccer.