• "German sportswear company Adidas has given a more precise sales growth target for 2014, amounting to a rise of up to 8 percent, as it gets a lift from the soccer World Cup that starts in Brazil next month."
• "'This year we will add 1-1.2 billion euros ($1.4-1.6 billion) to operational revenue, with the World Cup playing an important role,' Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told journalists at a briefing in Munich in remarks released for publication on Thursday."
• "That increase represents a rise of 7-8 percent from the 14.492 billion euros of sales Adidas recorded in 2013. Previously, Adidas had guided for a 'high single-digit' increase in currency-neutral sales in 2014."
• "'Football is the DNA of our company. We want to clearly show that we are number one in football,' Hainer said, adding Adidas expected to sell significantly more balls than at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago and about as many shirts."
• "Hainer acknowledged, however, that Adidas faced a 'head-to-head' race with Nike in the business for football boots, including in Germany, predicting Adidas would sell 2 million pairs of special boots designed for the World Cup."
Takeaway From Hedgeye’s Brian McGough:
Pretty damning admission by Hainer. Adidas is 'head-to-head' with Nike in the football boots arms race? We would have guessed as much, but Nike is just starting to gain traction in the soccer market. Add Under Armour to the mix and it’s a pretty bleak outlook for Adidas. When soccer balls and t-shirts are the key pillar of growth for a footwear company, we get concerned.
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Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research excerpt from Hedgeye Retail sector head Brian McGough. Follow Brian on Twitter @HedgeyeRetail.