A report from the China Daily newspaper cites comments from Adidas Group China Managing Director Colin Currie regarding the company’s plans to expand “aggressively” into lower-tier cities in China.

“We plan to open more than 2,500 additional stores in the next few years in lower-tier cities, expanding city coverage to more than 1,400 cities,” said Currie in comments to the paper.  His comments were reported by the paper after Adidas Group’s H1 earnings report disclosed that sales in the company’s Greater China region.

Currie commented following the company's release of its first-half report, which showed that sales in China grew 38 percent to €552 million, which the company said was “a new record for this region.”   The wholesale business for Adidas Group in Greater China, which includes both the Reebok and Adidas brands, posted 42 percent increase to €462 million in currency-neutral terms in the 2011 first half, while the retail business in the region grew 20 percent in currency-neutral terms to €72 million.

In the China Daily report, Currie attributed the revenue increase to “a focus on cultivating sales channels, revitalizing the brand, focusing on productivity at the retail level, forming a new leadership team in China and introducing inventory management measures.”

“Our strong performance in the first half marks the start of a new era for Adidas in China,” Currie told the paper. “We are seeing improvements in our businesses across the board, and it sets us up well for the future as we press ahead with our Route 2015 strategy.”

The Adidas Group plan forecasts five years of double-digit annual sales growth in China.

“This is an important market for the group and one where we've had great results in the past,” Currie concluded. “We are confident that in the future with our strategy, in the lower-tier cities and also in the higher-tier cities, consumers will be looking for premier international quality sports brands.”