Fitness financials: adidas reports a 62-percent increase in Q4 profit, plus Health Fitness, Costco

adidas reported a 62-percent increase in Q4 profit, Health Fitness' Q4 revenue was up 12.5 percent, and Costco's Q2 profit rose 31 percent.

adidas reports a 62-percent increase in Q4 profit

adidas’ (ADS.DE) fourth-quarter profit rose 62 percent, helped by lower purchasing costs resulting from its acquisition of Reebok in 2006 and improved sales.

The company earned EUR 21 million (USD $31.9 million) in the October-December period, up from EUR 13 million (USD $19.7 million) a year earlier. Sales rose to EUR 2.4 billion (USD $3.7 billion) in the fourth quarter compared with nearly EUR 2.3 billion (USD $3.4 billion) in the final three months of 2006.

For the year, the company earned EUR 551 million (USD $837.9 million), up 14 percent from EUR 483 million (USD $734 million) in 2006. Sales for the year rose slightly to EUR 10.3 billion (USD $15.6 billion) from EUR 10 billion (USD $15.2 billion) in 2006.

By unit, the company said its adidas brand set the pace for growth in 2007, with sales reaching EUR 7.1 billion (USD $10.8 billion) compared with EUR 6.6 billion (USD $10.0 billion) in 2006. Sales at its Reebok unit slipped slightly to EUR 2.3 billion (USD $3.5 billion) last year from nearly EUR 2.5 billion (USD $3.8 billion) in 2006.

The company reported that its order backlog for the adidas brand hit 17 percent, its highest level in nearly a decade, but order backlogs for Reebok slid 8 percent, a decline blamed on reduced orders from mall-based retailers in the United States and Canada.

adidas foresees net income growth of about 15 percent in 2008, and it plans to pay out a dividend of EUR 0.50 (USD $0.76) a share, compared with EUR 0.42 (USD $0.63) in 2006.

Additionally, Reebok’s chief marketing officer, Uli Becker, has been chosen to become its new president and CEO. Starting in April, Becker will take over from Paul Harrington, who has been with Reebok for nearly 12 years, including the last two years as chief executive.

(Conversion of Euros into U.S. dollars is for information only, is not necessarily relative to earnings, and is based on the currency rate as of Feb. 5.)

Health Fitness Q4 revenue up 12.5 percent

Fourth-quarter revenue for Health Fitness Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: HFIT) increased 12.5 percent to $19.2 million, from $17.1 million for the same period in 2006. Gross profit during the quarter was $5.2 million, compared to $4.6 million during the year-ago period.

Operating income totaled $0.40 million for the quarter compared to $0.61 million for the same period in 2006. Net earnings totaled $0.21 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, versus $0.46 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the prior-year period. Operating expenses as a percent of revenue were 25.1 percent, versus 23.3 percent for the same period last year.

For FY ’07, revenue increased 10 percent to $70.0 million, from $63.6 million during 2006. Gross profit increased 11 percent to $19.6 million from $17.6 million in 2006. Gross profit during 2006 includes a $300,000 benefit related to a refund of workers’ compensation premiums for the 2005 plan year.

Operating income was $1.9 million during 2007, compared to $3.7 million during 2006, reflecting higher expense levels due to key growth investments. Net earnings applicable to common shareholders totaled $0.9 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared with $1.4 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in 2006.

Costco’s Q2 profit rises 31 percent

Costco (Nasdaq: COST) said its second-quarter profit rose 31 percent, benefiting from strong sales and cost-cutting. It also received a boost from a weak U.S. dollar, particularly from sales in Canada.

Costco said its net income in the quarter ended Feb. 17 grew to $327.9 million, or $0.74 per share, from $249.5 million, or $0.54 per share, in the year-ago period, which included $53.4 million in charges.

Sales increased 12 percent to $16.62 billion from $14.8 billion a year ago.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 7 percent companywide in the latest quarter. U.S. same-store sales rose 5 percent in the quarter and also in the month of February, when the average price for a gallon of gasoline rose 25 percent.

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