BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Nike said strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat Wall Street expectations as it readies for the World Cup in June.
The soccer tournament, held in Brazil this year, has revved up shoppers' appetite for Nike's clothing and gear. The company has introduced new products, including a soccer shoe and 10 national team uniforms. Orders set to be delivered between March and July rose 12 percent to $10.9 billion. That includes a 33 percent jump in Western Europe, where the World Cup is popular.
Still, there were pockets of weakness, and shares slipped 3 percent in aftermarket trading. Future orders in China, where Nike has been grappling with slowing growth, fell 1 percent. And the company says it will continue to be hurt by the stronger dollar this quarter. The stronger dollar can affect U.S. companies that sell goods overseas when they translate foreign income back into U.S. currency. Nike is also dealing with higher costs for raw materials like chemicals and leather as well as labor.
Still, the Beaverton, Ore.-based company got a boost from big revenue gains, particularly in Europe. Higher prices helped offset discounts in some regions to clear excess merchandise.
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