Asics makes steady progress thanks to running shoes category
Asics has reinforced its position as a running shoes specialist. In H1 of the 2022 calendar year, the Japanese sportswear and equipment brand recorded a 7.4% growth in sales to JPY221 billion (€1.625 billion), despite widespread logistics problems and the lockdowns imposed in Asia. Asics did benefit from favourable exchange rates however, while the group’s operating income took a hit, falling by 4.8% to JPY19.1 billion (€140 million).
Except in Japan, Asics grew chiefly thanks to the results of its running shoes range, which enjoys a strong market position in North America and Europe and benefited from favourable exchange rates, posting a 13.5% rise in sales to JPY123.5 billion. Asics’s leading market for the running category, Europe, generated a revenue of JPY43.3 billion, the result of a 2.1% growth in local currency sales that turned into a 6.2% increase in yens. Even more significantly, in North America, sales fell by 1% in local currency and rose by 13% in yens, and in the Greater China region, sales grew by more than 10% in local currency and more than 26% in yens, and this despite the harsh lockdown policies introduced in Shanghai.
The performance sports category, which includes shoes for volleyball, tennis, badminton and handball, grew in all markets except Japan, its total revenue remaining stable at JPY23.5 billion. Revenue for the sports style range increased by 8.2% to JPY18.5 billion, mainly driven by growth in Europe, where its sales increased by almost 15% to €59 million, thanks to a very dynamic Q2, during which sales jumped by 25%. Asics has notably increased the number of partnerships with fashion labels and retailers, in order to boost its reputation in the fashion segment.
As for the apparel and accessories categories, Asics’s sales increased by 2.7% (though they were down 1.9% in local currency) to JPY17.1 billion. Europe was again the most successful region, posting a 32% sales increase (a 28% one in local currency). The group’s black sheep was the Onitsuka Tiger brand, mainly distributed in China and Japan, whose H1 sales fell by 6.5% (and by 14.5% in local currency) to JPY19.6 billion. The only positive for Onitsuka Tiger was the fact that sales grew by almost 13% in the domestic market.
Europe was the main market for the group as a whole, generating sales worth JPY63 billion in H1, up 9% in yens, thanks to a very strong performance in Q2, in which the group posted a 20% increase. Conversely, H1 sales in Japan fell by 17% to less than JPY31 billion. In North America, sales grew by 11.3% to nearly JPY48 billion, while in the Greater China region, sales grew by 3.4% to nearly JPY29 billion. In Oceania, sales improved by almost 18%, while in South-East Asia they jumped by 74%. Finally, in the rest of the world, sales for Asics grew by almost 29%.
In H1, the group generated a revenue of JPY149 billion via the wholesale channel, equivalent to a 2% rise. Direct retail revenue was JPY38 billion, up by 22%, and the group's e-tail revenue was also worth JPY38 billion, up by 18%.
For the year as a whole, Asics is currently forecasting sales of JPY460 billion (€3.382 billion), compared to a previous forecast of JPY420 billion, and an operating income of JPY27 billion, up from the previous estimate of JPY23 billion.
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