European gains power Nike earnings

Partly influenced by strong growth in Europe, Nike has reported revenues for the third quarter ended Feb. 28 up 6 percent to $2.4 billion compared to $2.3 billion for the same quarter last year.
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Partly influenced by strong growth in Europe, Nike has reported revenues for the third quarter ended Feb. 28 up 6 percent to $2.4 billion compared to $2.3 billion for the same quarter last year. Third quarter net income totaled $125 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, compared to $126 million, or $0.46 per diluted share in the prior year.

Overall, futures orders for athletic footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery between March and July 2003, totaled $4.2 billion, 5.8 percent higher than such orders reported by Nike (NYSE: NKE) for the same period last year, or an increase of 1.1 percent in constant dollars.

Although U.S. orders were down 4 percent, Europe powered ahead and was up 18 percent. Orders in the Asia Pacific grew 19 percent, while the Americas decreased 9 percent. In constant dollars, futures orders for Europe increased 4 percent; Asia Pacific grew 14 percent; and the Americas increased 2 percent.

"Internationally, despite geopolitical uncertainty, our business continued to perform well," said Phil Knight, chairman and CEO. "We continue to focus on profitability, as evidenced by another quarter of strong gross margin expansion. Overall, I am confident in our ability to achieve sustainable, profitable growth over the long term."

Gross margins in the quarter were 40.7 percent compared to 39.1 percent last year. Nike's earnings releases and other financial information are available at www.NikeBiz.com.

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