Asics Corp. reported sales increased 4.2 percent in the first quarter in the North America region as the Performance Running category returned to positive growth.
Sales reached ¥19.85 billion and were up 3.4 percent on a currency-neutral basis. The gains followed 13 consecutive quarters of declines.
The region still showed an operating loss of ¥1.48 billion “mainly due to a deteriorated cost of sales ratio and vigorous marketing investment,” according to Asics’ statement.
Companywide, consolidated net sales in the first quarter ended March 31 decreased 5.7 percent (down 2.5 percent currency-neutral) to ¥98.7 billion, mainly due to weak sales of the Performance Running category in the European region despite strong sales of the Onitsuka Tiger category in Japan and South Korea.
Gross profit decreased 7.5 percent to ¥46.13 billion mainly due to lower sales and a deteriorated cost of sales ratio. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 3.3 percent to ¥39.9 billion, reflecting the impact of the structural reform conducted at the end of the previous fiscal year.
However, operating income decreased 27.6 percent to ¥6.19 billion. Ordinary income consequently decreased 8.1 percent to ¥6.81 billion despite recording of foreign exchange gains. Profit attributable to owners of parent decreased 17.9 percent to ¥4.i37 billion.
In other regions, sales in Japan increased 0.4 percent to ¥33.1 billion due to strong sales of the Onitsuka Tiger category. Segment income increased 30.3 percent to ¥2.23 billion due to an improved cost of sales ratio.
In the European region, sales decreased 14.0 percent (a decrease of 9.0 percent currency-neutral) to ¥24,705 million mainly due to weak sales of the Performance Running category. Segment income decreased 64.7 percent (a decrease of 63.0 currency-neutral) to ¥832 million mainly due to the effect of declined sales.
In the Greater China region, sales decreased 26.1 percent (a decrease of 22.3 currency-neutral) to ¥8.37 billion due mainly to a temporary impact associated with the switch to direct sales of some part of distributor sales in China. Segment income decreased 43.6 percent (a decrease of 40.1 percent currency-neutral) to ¥1.22 billion mainly due to the effect of declined sales.
In the Oceanian region, sales decreased 1.8 percent (an increase of 6.5 percent currency-neutral) to ¥4.52 billion due to the effect of the foreign exchange rate despite strong sales of the Performance Running category. Segment income decreased 15.3 percent (a decrease of 8.2 percent currency-neutral) to ¥628 million due to the effect of declined sales.
Southeast and South Asian regions’ sales increased 1.6 percent (an increase of 4.0 percent currency-neutral) to ¥3,0 billion due to strong sales of the Onitsuka Tiger category and the effect of the foreign exchange rate. Segment income decreased 38.8 percent (a decrease of 37.5 percent currency-neutral) to ¥430 million mainly due to vigorous marketing investment.
In Other Regions, sales increased 2.6 percent (an increase of 14.3 percent currency-neutral) to ¥10,3 billion mainly due to strong sales of the Onitsuka Tiger category in South Korea. Segment income increased 2,455.1 percent (an increase of 2,702.2 percent currency-neutral) to ¥924 million mainly due to an improved cost of sales ratio in South Korea.
Asics maintained its guidance for the year. The company expects sales of ¥390 billion, up 0.9 percent; operating income of ¥12 billion; up 14.1 percent; ordinary income of ¥10 billion, up 14.1 percent; and net income of ¥5 billion, flat year over year.