Asics Corporation reported net sales growth of 21.9 percent, or 14.3 percent in constant-currency (CC) terms, to ¥174.1 billion in the quarter, compared to ¥152.2 billion in the year-ago Q1 period, led by double-digit CC sales growth in Japan, South & Southeast Asia, Greater China and the North America. While Performance Running remained atop the category performers in terms of value, growth was led by two smaller parts of the business as the SportStyle and Onitsuko Tiger (OT) categories that are more geared to the casual or fashion consumer each posted strong double-digit growth for the quarter.

Gross margin reportedly “improved remarkably” in all categories, all regions and all channels, the company said during their quarterly presentation of results, indicating that gross margins increased 430 basis points year-over-year (YoY to 54.5 percent of sales in the first quarter.

Operating income and profit margin reportedly posted record highs for the company, with Performance Running, SportStyle and OT all called out for outsized growth in profits and profit margins. Consolidated operating profit jumped 52.9 percent YoY to ¥33.8 billion yen, or 19.4 percent of net sales for the period, representing a 490 basis point increase in operating margin YoY.

Net income amounted to ¥26.7 billion in Q1, a 63.9 percent increase versus the Q1 2023 results.

Channel Breakdown

Wholesale sales increased 7.1 percent (-1.5 percent CC) to ¥111.3 million in Q1, said to be mainly due to double-digit growth in the North America, Greater China and Southeast & South Asia regions.

Retail sales increased 30.4 percent (+21.9 percent CC) to ¥ 30.5 billion, reportedly due mainly to sales growth in Japan (+60.9 percent) and Greater China (+29.4 percent).

E-commerce sales reportedly posted 31.2 percent (+20.1 percent) growth year-over-year to ¥29.2 billion, particularly in North America (+24.3 percent) and Europe (+35.0 percent) under one Asics management.

Regional Breakdown
Asics Japan net sales increased 20.7 percent YoY to ¥23.8 billion in Q1, reportedly driven by strong sales in Performance Running and sales to inbound tourists in Onitsuka Tiger.

  • Japan operating margin was 21.8 percent of net sales in the period, up 780 basis points points YoY, due to an increase in unit selling prices, improvement in DTC ratio, and decrease in SG&A to sales ratio.

North America net sales increased 26.5 percent (+13.2 percent CC) to ¥33.0 billion in Q1.

  • Sales of Performance Running category footwear in the Run Specialty channel increased 29.5 percent YoY against Q1 2023 sales.
  • North America operating margin reached ¥3.5 billion in the first quarter, comping against a ¥0.3 billion operating loss in Q1 2023. Operating margin was 10.5 percent of sales in the 2024 first quarter.

Europe net sales grew 8.8 percent (-3.2 percent CC) to ¥48.3 billion in the quarter, reportedly due to the narrowing the entry models available to the region.

  • Europe operating margin was 20.0 percent of net sales in Q1, a 530 basis point improvement YoY, reportedly due to narrowing in the entry models and improvement in the DTC:Wholesale ratio.

Greater China saw net sales jump 25.1 percent (+16.6 percent CC) to ¥23.8 billion in the first quarter, with sales increases in all categories, even in China where economic indicators were said to be weak.

  • Greater China operating margin was 24.2 percent of net sales in the quarter, up 60 basis points YoY, due to the improvement in gross margin driven by an increase in unit selling prices.

Image courtesy Asics