• Q1 profit rose 6.6% to EUR309m
  • Sales down 2% to EUR3.75bn
  • Gross margin reached record high of 50.1%

Sportswear giant Adidas has seen its share price rise after reporting a 6.6% increase in first-quarter net profit, after a more favourable price, product and sales mix boosted margins to a record high. 

Net income reached EUR309m for the three months to 31 March, compared to EUR290m in the same period last year. 

On a currency-neutral basis, group revenues were stable, but were fell 2% in euros to EUR3.75bn from EUR3.82bn.

Gross margin improved 2.4 percentage points to a record level of 50.1% against 47.7% last year, thanks to a more favourable pricing, product and regional sales mix, as well as a larger share of higher-margin retail sales.

Wholesale revenue slipped 5% to EUR2.48bn, while retail sales climbed 4% to EUR722m. Revenue from its other businesses rose 6% to EUR548m, due to double-digit sales growth at TaylorMade-adidas. The divisions also posted gains on a currency-neutral basis.

"Our group has delivered a solid performance in the first quarter of 2013," said CEO Herbert Hainer.

"We delivered stable revenues, despite running against high prior year comparisons due to the sell-in of event-related products for the London Olympics and the European Football Championships as well as facing a continuation of macroeconomic challenges in Europe. And, we delivered strong margin progress which is our top priority for the year. Our relentless focus on quality sales growth resulted in our highest-ever quarterly gross margin, above 50% for only the second time in our history."

Adidas' share price was up 6.4% to EUR84.58 at 11:59 BST today (3 May).