By William Philip
stock was rising after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and detailed the financial impact of boycotts in China.
The sports apparel and accessories company (ticker: NKE) reported a profit of 93 cents a share on sales of $12.3 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter, ended May 31. That beat estimates for a profit of 51 cents per share on revenue of $11 billion.
In a statement to investors, Chief Executive Officer John Donahue attributed the company’s strong results to its Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy—NIKE Direct sales rose 73% to $4.5 billion, during the fourth quarter. Wholesale shipments were higher as well.
Driven by year-over-year digital sales growth of 147%, currency-adjusted revenue increased 88% compared with the same period last year, confirming that demand for athleticwear and wellness products remains strong even as people return to the office.
North America, which accounts for 32% of Nike’s revenue, remained the strongest region, with year-over-year growth of 141%. Europe, the Middle East and Africa overtook Greater China to become Nike’s second-largest market following a 124% year-over-year increase in sales.
Sales in Greater China increased 17% compared with the corresponding period last year, as boycotts by consumers—a response to a decision by the company to check its supply chain for the use of forced labor by Uighurs and other ethnic minorities—appeared to cut into demand for its goods.
The Greater China area was Nike’s slowest growing market during the quarter, falling behind near-triple-digit year-over-year growth in every other region. In previous years, sales growth in China has consistently been double the rate for Nike globally.
For the full year, sales in Greater China were up 24%, while global sales increased 19%.
Nike stock was up 11.9% at $149.50 after hours. The S&P 500 closed up 0.6%.
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