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Adidas doubles earnings

Sportswear maker Adidas saw a dramatic jump in its net earnings in 2010, thanks in large part to the World Cup in South Africa and strong growth at its US subsidiary Reebok, the company reported on Wednesday.

Adidas doubles earnings
photo: DPA

Adidas, based in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, said 2010 net earnings more than doubled to €567 million from €245 million the year before. Revenue climbed 15.5 percent to just under €12 billion.

The results surpassed the company’s own estimates.

“All our brands scored with consumers in an improving worldwide economy,” company CEO Herbert Hainer said in a statement.

The company’s 2010 fourth quarter was not quite as positive, with October-December earnings at €7 million, down from €19 million a year earlier. Adidas put the blame on higher operating costs.

But due to the positive numbers overall, the company reported it proposed raising its dividend to €0.80 from €0.35 a share. Over the past 12 months, Adidas stocks have gained around 30 percent of their value.

Adidas is bullish about the coming year, saying it expects further growth and is more optimistic than before about revenue development. It has raised its 2011 sales forecast, saying the company now expects sales to rise by a “mid- to high-single-digit percentage range,” after previously predicting a “mid-single-digit” rise.

Adidas is the world’s second-largest sportswear maker by revenue after US-based Nike.

DPA/The Local/kdj

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RETAIL

German Amazon workers strike on ‘Black Friday’

Amazon workers in Germany started a three-day strike Thursday timed to disrupt the online retailer's "Black Friday" sales bonanza.

German Amazon workers strike on 'Black Friday'
Signs for the Amazon strike in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

The strike, called by the powerful Verdi union, is set to last until Saturday and marks the latest escalation in a years-long battle with Amazon for better pay and working conditions.

“We estimate that around 2,500 people went on strike today, a higher number than in similar actions in the past and given the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, it's a big success,” a Verdi spokesman told AFP.

To limit the risk of Covid-19 infections, the union said it was not staging any rallies during the strike.

Amazon in a statement said the walkouts were not affecting customer deliveries since “the majority of employees are working as normal”.

The stoppage affected Amazon distribution facilities in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Augsburg, Rheinberg, Werne and Koblenz.

Verdi has long wanted Amazon to sign on to regional wage agreements covering retail and e-commerce, and has organised numerous walkouts in recent years.

It also wants Amazon to improve health and safety at work, accusing the retail giant of not doing enough to protect staff from the coronavirus at some of its German sites.

Amazon defended its policies, saying it offered “excellent” wages, benefits and career opportunities in a “modern, safe” work environment.

The company employs more than 16,000 people in Germany and has taken on an additional 10,000 seasonal employees to cope with a boom in online shopping triggered by the pandemic.

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