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Adidas strikes gold going into Olympic year

German sportswear maker Adidas said Wednesday strong demand for its brand pushed it to record earnings in 2011 and it hoped to beat those again this year on the back of the 2012 Olympics.

Adidas strikes gold going into Olympic year
Photo: DPA

Adidas said in a statement its net profit rose by 18 percent to €671 million ($881 million) last year, with earnings per share hitting a record high of €3.20.

Operating profit grew by 13.1 percent to €1.011 billion on an 11.3-percent increase in sales to €13.344 billion.

“We enjoyed our fastest organic (sales) growth rate since 2006,” boasted chief executive Herbert Hainer.

“We made progress on improving profitability. And we ended the year with our balance sheet in top shape,” Hainer said.

The 2012 Olympics in London and the UEFA Euro soccer championships would enable Adidas to race to record earnings again this year, the chief executive said.

“We begin 2012 fully energised and fully prepared for another bright year for our group. There is always great buzz and excitement around major sports events, and they don’t come bigger than the London 2012 Olympic Games and the UEFA EURO 2012,” he said. “We are all set to achieve new records and sustained momentum.”

But investors were not convinced and Adidas shares were the biggest losers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Wednesday, shedding 3.0 percent to €56.00.

AFP/bk

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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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