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Adidas races ahead as Reebok unit lags

Adidas, the world's second biggest sportswear company, posted increased 2007 results on Wednesday even though its Reebok unit lagged behind.

Adidas races ahead as Reebok unit lags

The German group said net profit had gained 14 percent to €551 million ($835 million), while operating profit rose by eight percent to €949 million. Sales were hurt by unfavourable exchange rates and grew by just two percent to €10.30 billion, the company reported in a statement.

The group’s main problem however remained Reebok, which suffered a six percent drop in sales last year. Adidas said that the unit’s head, Paul Harrington, would be replaced by

marketing chief Uli Becker.

For 2008, a year that will witness several major sporting events, Adidas’ order backlog – a key indicator of future sales growth – was at a 10-year high, and the company said it expected net profit to gain at least 15 percent. In addition to the Beijing Olympics, the European soccer championship is to be held in Austria and Switzerland this year.

Adidas announced the acquisition of Reebok in 2005 for €3.1 billion to boost its market share in the United States and narrow the gap with rival Nike, and has invested in marketing to revive the brand’s popularity.

The German company said last year that it expected sales at Reebok to return to growth in 2009, with order backlogs already showing improvement in the second half of this year.

SPORTS

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states.

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season
Germany fans at the recent Euro 2020 match in London. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season – so-called Geisterspiele or ghost games – because of the Covid-19 virus.

The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13th and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000.

The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity.

The new rules apply until September 11 and amid concerns in Germany about the Delta variant of the coronavirus, incidence rates must not exceed 35 new infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.

READ ALSO: German states call for uniform Covid rules at big events

If that happens, and “the infection cannot be clearly contained”, a maximum of 5,000 spectators will be allowed into sports events, German officials warned.

Only fans who can prove they are vaccinated or present a negative test will be allowed into stadiums and hygiene rules must be followed.

An easing of the regulations meant crowds of around 14,000 were allowed to attend Euro 2020 matches at Munich’s Allianz Arena over the last three weeks, but fans were largely kept out of German league games last season.

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