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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 06:02 GMT 07:02 UK
Nike profits continue to soar
Nike Shox
Analysts say the Nike Shox are too expensive
The US sportswear and trainers maker, Nike, has reported a sharp rise in profits during the March to May quarter.

Net profits for the quarter rose 28% to $208m (136m) from $162m a year earlier. The rise followed a 31% rise in profits during the previous quarter.

The company also reported an 8% rise in sales to $2.68bn from $2.48bn a year earlier.

"We enjoyed growth across footwear, apparel and equipment in each of our international regions," said chief executive Philip Knight.

"In the environment we're dealing with, that's pretty impressive, and I think it shows the strength of the brand," said Lehman Brothers analyst Robert Drbul.

US weakness

Other analysts were sceptical about Nike's performance in its home US market.

The company's global order book was up 7%. Asia and Europe was up 12% while the US was up just 3%.

This, said John Shanley of Wells Fargo Securities, was a sign that its attempt to sell increasingly expensive basketball shoes to teenage boys had failed.

Mr Shanley slammed the company's Nike Shox shoes which at $150 a pair were far too expensive.

He also criticised the company's Michael Jordan basketball shoes which were selling at $200 a pair along with a metal case and a promotional CD and "which turned out to be the proverbial bomb".

Mr Knight insisted that Nike is doing well in the US.

"We delivered significant improvement in our USA results by reinvigorating our USA footwear business, reducing inventory, and building a solid foundation in our apparel business," he said.

Nike shares gained 4.8% on Thursday.

See also:

21 Mar 02 | Business
20 Dec 01 | Business
28 Jun 01 | Business
18 Apr 01 | Business
27 Feb 01 | Business
22 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
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