Beaverton, Oregon – Sales at Nike, the global footwear giant, were $10.6 bn in the first quarter of 2021, down slightly on the same period last year.
EBIT across the business rose by 12.9% to $1780m in the first quarter of 2021.
Despite nearly all of the Nike-owned physical stores being open in the quarter in North America, EMEA and Greater China, along with 90% in Latin America , physical sales fell because of coronavirus and safety measures. Online sales were up 82% in the quarter.
Nike sales are recovering faster because of digital growth, according to Matt Friend, CFO. He promised more money to 'fuel our consumer-led digital transformation'.
Margin in the business grew in the first quarter of 2021. Although the company discounted old stock to reduce its inventory and faced higher supply chain costs, it cut the advertising spend by 33% after the cancellation of sporting events where it promotes itself.
The company also cut its selling and administration costs by 11%. These cuts were partly offset because Nike spent more on digital marketing to support growing online demand.