Sportswear giant Adidas-Salomon has upped its 2005 profit outlook after recording increased third-quarter net income and sales.

Adidas, which is currently buying rival Reebok, said third-quarter net income from continuing operations grew 28 per cent to €209 million compared with €163m last year. The company now expects a net profit rise of at least 20 per cent for the full year.

Income from discontinued operations - which reflects the performance of the Salomon business that will be deconsolidated at the beginning of the fourth quarter -declined 48 per cent to €11m in 2005 from €22m in the third quarter of 2004.

Third-quarter net sales rose 8 per cent on a currency-neutral basis with improvements coming from adidas in all regions except Europe, where sales remained stable. In euro terms, sales grew 9 per cent to €1.9 billion from €1.8bn in the third quarter of 2004.

During the first nine months of 2005, group sales increased 10 per cent on a currency-neutral basis. In euro terms, sales also grew 10 per cent to €5.12bn from €4.7bn in 2004.

Currency-neutral adidas revenues increased 10 per cent in the first nine months of the year, driven by strong double-digit growth in the Sport Heritage division as well as increases in virtually all Sport Performance categories.

Herbert Hainer, Adidas chairman and chief executive officer, said: "Our key region, North America, is stronger than ever so that we have raised our group sales and earnings expectations for the year".

The company also said orders had increased relating to next year's soccer World Cup in adidas's home market, Germany.

Adidas is hoping to take on market leader Nike with the purchase of Reebok, the world's third-largest sportswear company.