In an interview with Bloomberg Television in Wiesbaden, Germany, adidas AG Chief Executive Officer Herbert Hainer said currency fluctuations are the biggest risk for Adidas’s business in 2009. Hainer particularly cited the declining value of the ruble's impact on its profits in Russia and the Ukraine.

“Due to the ruble devaluation, we lose a large part of our profit” in Russia, Hainer said. “We can’t do anything about it.”

Since Aug. 1, the Russian currency has fallen about 35.0% against the dollar and 22.0% against the euro,  according to Bloomberg News.
Adidas had said in May that Russia will become its main European market by 2010. Sales are still rising in the country and in emerging markets such as China and India while he called conditions in the U.S. and the U.K. “very difficult.”

“2009 will be a difficult year, though we will be less affected than some other industries such as carmakers,” Hainer said. The company has no plans to further layoff employees and expects to “at least” maintain staffing levels by the end of the year.

Adidas, which became the sponsor of Ukraine’s national soccer team this year, still expects rising sales for its Reebok brand this year, according to Hainer.