Money may be tight, but people still want their shoes.
Footwear conglomerate Nike, which makes shoes across designer, athletic and surf-wear with such brands as its namesake trademark, Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley International and Umbro, reported a much stronger fourth quarter than analysts were expecting, with revenues increasing 22% in the last quarter in North America, a figure that was nearly as high as the company's sales in emerging markets.
Consumer spending has eased a bit in the U.S. in the past month, and some product manufacturers and retailers are talking of softer sales patterns, but Nike revealed that consumers still want their shoes.
Nike CEO Mark Parker said the company's strength is its multi-brand footprint, delivering growth in North America and in emerging markets as well as across several styles of shoes. Cole Haan, for instance, is a designer brand, while Converse and Nike specialize in athletic shoes.
The global appetite for sports has never been stronger, Parker said. Our business is organized to drive growth across multiple brands, geographies and categories, as we manage through the ever-changing macroeconomic landscape.
Nike is carrying the momentum forward, too, as future orders are up through November 15% from a year ago. Nike shares were up 4.2% in after-hours trading after the release.
The footwear company's earnings were a 13.8 percent increase compared to the same period the year before, and overall sales increased at a similar rate, at 13.6%.
In fiscal year 2011, we delivered exceptional results in extraordinary times, Parker said.
Only in Europe and Japan did sales drop. Sales were off 67% in Japan, for instance, but those results were of course impacted heavily by the country's devastating earthquakes and tsunami earlier this year.