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Nike Expects $1 Billion in Chinese Sales in a Year

Nike, the world's largest athletic shoe and clothes maker, would see revenue growth in China increase at 50 percent per year and sales reach $1 billion within a year, CEO Mark Parker said on Thursday.

Nike
Nike

"We are growing at 50 percent plus in China," Chief Executive Mark Parker told Reuters in an interview.

In response to a question about how soon Nike would reach $1 billion in China sales, Parker said: "Within a year."

"And that will double a lot sooner than the first billion," he added.

Nike, occupying the leading spot in the mainland market for athletic footwear and apparel, hopes to lift market share in China, its fourth-largest market with about $600 million in annual sales. It currently has about one-third of the market.

China is a key for the Beaverton, Oregon-based company to reach its target of $23 billion in sales by 2011, and become its second-largest market behind the United States with revenue of $1 billion within five years.

Nike also views India, whose population growth rate is rising faster than China's, and Russia as potential $1-billion markets.

Although the budget for Nike's 2008 Beijing Olympics strategy has not yet been planned, Parker said that commitment would be "major."

Nike posted a 51 percent rise in net profit to $569.7 million in the most recent quarter, topping Wall Street targets and raised its fiscal 2008 revenue outlook.

Revenue in the last quarter topped analysts' forecasts, but growth in the United States, Nike's largest market, was only 2 percent. While revenues jumped 16 percent in Europe, 22 percent in Asia Pacific and 15 percent in the Americas outside the United States.

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