Under Armour Picks up Momentum Overseas | News & Analysis

NEW YORK, United States — Sportswear maker Under Armour Inc topped Wall Street forecasts for first-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as stronger demand outside the United States made up for stagnating sales in North America.

The Baltimore-based company has sharpened its focus on its international operations, particularly in China, as the North America business that is responsible for some 73 percent of overall revenue cools down after years of double-digit growth.

Under Armour is facing brutal competition from Nike Inc and Germany’s Adidas AG and Puma in the United States, where the bankruptcies of U.S. sporting goods retailers have also weighed on sales.

The company, which lists basketball star Steph Curry and tennis player Andy Murray among its biggest sporting sponsorship deals, said first-quarter sales in North America were unchanged year-over-year, while sales outside North America jumped 27 percent.

North America sales had fallen in the previous two quarters, mirroring a decline in the broader athleisure market that has seen Under Armour’s share price sink 18 percent in the past 12 months.

Nike Chief Executive Officer Mark Parker promised a recovery in the U.S. sportswear sector in March, saying his company was seeing “a significant reversal of trend in North America.”

But Under Armour’s loss widened to $30.2 million in the three months ended March 31, from $2.3 million a year earlier, hurt by restructuring costs of $37.5 million.

Excluding one-time items, Under Armour broke even on a per-share basis, while analysts had expected a loss of 5 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue rose 5.9 percent to $1.19 billion, topping analysts’ expectations of $1.12 billion.

Under Armour’s Class C shares rose 1 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

By Uday Sampath; editors: Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Patrick Graham.


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