People in face masks walk in a street during an outbreak of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus.
Artyom Ivanov | TASS via Getty Images
Adidas has predicted that sales will fall by 40% in the second quarter, as the impact of the coronavirus takes hold.
The German sportswear giant on Monday reported a 19% decline in net sales for the first quarter from the year before to 4.75 billion euros ($5.16 billion), as 70% of its stores worldwide closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its first-quarter net income was 26 million euros, down 96% from the same period last year, and Adidas said that owing to uncertainty over the duration of store closures, it would be unable to offer a full-year outlook at present.
E-commerce — which it described as “the only channel that has remained fully operational in most parts of the world” — rose 35%, but failed to offset the loss from pandemic-induced lockdowns around the world.
Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company said it expects “both top- and bottom-line declines in the second quarter of 2020 are currently expected to be more pronounced than those recorded in the first quarter.” It forecast sales to come in more than 40% below last year’s.
CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC that despite the current situation, the sporting goods industry would emerge favorably over the medium-term due to increased focus on health and fitness around the world.
“The personal exercise, as soon as people are allowed to go outside, I think that will grow very quickly because having spent six, eight, 10 weeks inside, I think that desire to go out and move is going to be quite outspoken,” he said.
Rorsted also suggested looking to the business’s recent performance in China for an idea of what emerging from the crisis may eventually look like elsewhere in the world.
“What we have seen in China in March is growth in our own retail stores, a very strong growth in our e-commerce — we grew 35% for the quarter, we grew 55% globally for e-commerce in the month of March, and we grew even quicker in China — and we are seeing that trend in China continuing in the month of April,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”