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'We're by no means where we need to be,' says Adidas CEO as sales rise 20%

  • Adidas sales up 20 percent in the second quarter 2017 to 5.038 billion euros ($5.9 billion) versus 4.199 billion in 2016.
  • Basic earnings per share (EPS) increase 14 percent to 1.72 euros compared with 1.50 euros the previous year.
  • The German retailer has raised its full-year guidance for 2017, anticipating sales to grow by 17 percent to 19 percent.

Adidas upgraded its 2017 growth forecast and committed to increased marketing spend on Thursday after recording a 20 percent increase in sales during the second quarter of the year.

The German sportswear brand posted sales of 5.038 billion euros ($5.9 billion) for the second quarter of the year, up from 4.199 billion euros ($4.97 billion) in 2016. The growth was largely led by China and the U.S., where sales grew by 28 percent and 26 percent respectively.

Adidas anticipates that overall sales will continue to grow at a rate of 17 to 19 percent until the end of the year, up by around a quarter from previous estimates of 12 to 14 percent, but the company maintains that it has further to run.

Adidas store in New York
Getty Images

"We are by no means where we need to be, despite very strong growth rates," Adidas Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted told CNBC Thursday.

"We'll continue to invest very heavily and aggressively into the U.S.," he continued, referencing a deal signed Wednesday to extend its partnership with North America's Major League Soccer.

The firm announced that it is to spend an extra 700-800 million euros ($829-948 million) on marketing by the end of the decade.

The funds will help Adidas push ahead in the race against U.S. rival Nike and capitalize on key geographies, but it will also be crucial to the firm's online business, which has enjoyed significant demand.

In the second quarter, eCommerce sales grew 66 percent. In the U.S., this was closer to 80 percent.

"The most important store we have in the world is our dotcom store," said Rorsted, who took the helm of Adidas last year and has set his sights on overhauling the company's digital strategy.

"You can't be too reliant on one entity," he continued, referencing the brands partnerships with third party high street retailers such as Footlocker and online distributors including Amazon. "It's got to be a mixture.

"But the core of it is that you've got to be where the consumer is and right now the consumer is coming to us in the U.S. online.

Rorsted has targeted growing digital revenues from 1 billion euros ($1.06 billion) in 2016 to 4 billion euros ($4.25 billion) by 2020.

"In most of the western markets, digital is the way to go. We continue to outgrow the market so our investment into the digital initiative is paying off."