Nike Inc. posted second-quarter results that showed the footwear and athletic-apparel giant remains largely immune to the shopper malaise that’s plagued much of retail. The world’s largest sporting goods maker posted profit of 90 cents a share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 86 cents, as it continued to reap the rewards of a dominant brand and the ongoing fashion shift toward casual, sporty attire. It also defied concerns about slowing economic growth in China, with revenue there gaining 24 percent to $938 million.
The earnings report is Nike’s first since it announced a goal of increasing annual sales to $50 billion by fiscal 2020, up from $30.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year. The target implies an annual growth rate of 10.3 percent, slightly higher than the past two years. The company expects about a third of those gains to come from its online business.
In the most recent quarter, Nike’s China unit was the standout. Footwear sales there gained 30 percent to $600 million, while apparel revenue climbed 15 percent to $306 million. The strength looks set to continue, with futures orders for the segment increasing 34 percent, excluding currency effects.
North America also turned in a strong performance, with sales increasing 9.4 percent to $3.55 billion. Footwear led the gain, with a 12 percent increase. North American futures orders grew 14 percent.