German sportswear giant Adidas-Salomon AG on Tuesday said it is on track for a 10 to 15 per cent rise in annual net profit but warned of a further drop in North American orders this year.

CFO Robin Stalker told investors the firm expects North American sales to fall this year but rebound in 2004. It also sees a big boost in the region from the start of the new basketball season.

Separately on Tuesday, Adidas America said its president and CEO, Ross McMullin, will take between six and nine months' medical leave from tomorrow as he continues his fight against colon cancer.

His duties will be handled on an interim basis by Jim Stutts, Adidas' head of the Asia/Pacific region, while Christophe Bezu, currently managing director of Adidas Japan, will take up Stutts' former role.