Europe’s largest sporting goods manufacturer Adidas is still in crisis mode for the time being. Group CEO Björn Gulden, who moved from competitor Puma, expects a high single-digit percentage decline in currency-adjusted sales for the current year.
Weeks ago, Gulden had already had to issue a profit warning because of the loss of its Yeezy products, which had been created in collaboration with the scandalous rapper Kanye West. Operating profit could be as much as 700 million in the red for the first time in decades.
“2023 will be a transition year to lay the groundwork for 2024 and 2025,” Gulden said when presenting the annual figures on Wednesday. The Norwegian had replaced Kasper Rorsted as CEO at the beginning of the year.
Shareholders will have to prepare for a significantly lower payout after last year’s profit slump. They will receive a dividend of 0.70 euros per share, down from 3.30 euros in the previous year, Adidas announced. In 2022, the Group had to struggle with high inflation and problems in China. In addition, its partnership with Kanye West was terminated, among other things because of anti-Semitism allegations against the rapper. Profit from continuing operations therefore slumped from just under 1.5 billion to 254 million euros. The sporting goods manufacturer thus confirmed its previously presented preliminary figures.
In the fourth quarter, it even posted a loss of 482 million euros, compared to a profit of 123 million euros a year earlier. Due to the end of the Yeezy collaboration, Adidas lost around 600 million euros in sales, which still rose by one percent to 5.2 billion euros. Adjusted for currency effects, Adidas posted -1%. The Yeezy issue will continue to weigh on the Group this year. Adidas management reaffirmed the guidance it issued in February.
In addition, the sporting goods manufacturer, which has slipped into crisis mode, announced that it will continue to restructure its executive board. Adidas veteran Roland Auschel, who has been with the three-stripe brand for 33 years, including ten years on the executive board, will leave the company on April 1 and hand over his post to Arthur Hoeld. Brian Grevy, the Dane who has been in charge of branding, will also leave Adidas on March 31. His duties will be taken over by CEO Björn Gulden. On the other hand, Harm Ohlmeyer, who was appointed chief financial officer in 2017, will see his contract extended for another three years.