Asics Corporation posted an 11.0% decrease in revenues for the fiscal third quarter ended December 31.  Total consolidated worldwide revenues were ¥164.3 billion ($1.83 bn), compared to ¥184.6 billion ($1.90 bn) in the year-ago quarter.   Operating profits fell 27.6% to ¥13.5 billion ($151 mm) for the fiscal third quarter, while net income declined 42.1% to ¥5.63 billion ($63 mm) versus the prior-year quarter.

The company is maintaining its forecast for revenues of ¥225 billion, or a 7.0% decline versus the prior year.

The news was a bit better in the U.S., although the division did slip into single-digit growth trends versus the previous double-digit gains seen over the last few years. Led by healthy gains in both performance running footwear and apparel, Asics Americas revenues grew more than 7% in its third quarter ended December 31.

In an interview with Sports Executive Weekly, Asics America President and COO Rich Bourne said footwear was up 8% during the third quarter, led by better-than-expected performances from the GEL-Kayano, GT-2000 series and GEL-Nimbus. A standout was the Onitsuka Tiger fashion collection, which was up 18% during the quarter. Said Bourne This category continues to be strong within the current doors that the collection is being sold at.

Kids has also been a steady grower this year, and Asics is planning to put more of focus on the category in 2010. Wrestling footwear has been consistently led by kids and market share continues to be in the 60% range, Bourne noted.  Jim Monahan, VP of footwear. said in the release that they are seeing growth in the performance running, Onitsuka Tiger and kids categories, and we are continuing to diversify our offerings for future expansion.

Meanwhile, apparel sales have been very strong in 2009, we contribute that to better fit and styles, he indicated. 

We are up a little more than expected for 2009 and are preparing for continued growth, says Bourne said in a statement.  We have set the stage and are investing for a future billion dollar company.

Other successes so far this year include the opening of the first Asics flagship store in the U.S., which opened in Midtown Manhattan in October 2009. Asics said sales at the store are pacing more than 74% higher than the projected goal. Sixty percent of sales at the 1,100-square-foot location are in footwear and 40% in apparel and accessories sales, which Asics said demonstrates the brands strength beyond footwear.

Asics also noted that it gained noticeable share in the running footwear category in the U.S.

For 2010, growth for Asics America will be particularly focused on the Active Run category, kids and apparel/accessories.