Beavertown, Oregon — Sales at Nike, the global footwear company, were $37.4bn in 2020. This is down 4.4% on the previous financial year.
Gross profit across the business fell by 7.1% to $16.2bn in the financial year that ended in late June. This compares with $17.5bn in the previous year, a fall of $1.2bn.
The highlight of the year was the company’s performance in China, which grew by 11% on a currency neutral basis. This is the sixth straight year of double-digit growth, despite the impact of coronavirus.
Although the pandemic knocked 2% off sales across the whole of 2020, the first half was up 11% on a currency-neutral basis. Digital sales were up 49%, with double-digit growth shown in all regions of the world.
Margins fell because of US import tariffs on Chinese production, discounts resulting from the coronavirus, supply chain costs, factory cancellations and lower wholesale shipments in the fourth quarter.
The company said that 90% of its stores are open around the world. Mike Friend, CFO said: 'As physical retail reopens, Nike’s strong digital trends continue.' However, he warned that the company is facing macroeconomic uncertainty.
Nike added that it has 'made significant investments to keep paying staff. '