• Q1 earnings slumped 43.2% to JPY5.3m (US$48.1m).
  • Sales were down 7.4% to JPY104.6m.
  • Asics invested in its five-year strategic plan and cut some low margin products in the quarter.

Japanese sporting goods giant Asics saw both its earnings and sales slide in the first quarter as the company invested in its five-year strategic plan and cut some low margin products.

Earnings in the three months ended 31 March slumped 43.2% to JPY5.3m (US$48.1m) from JPY9.4m a year earlier. Sales were down 7.4% to JPY104.6m (US$949.8m) from JPY113m last year.

Domestic sales were down 7.1% in the quarter to JPY28.6m, mainly due to a reduction in the number of sportswear product lines with low profit margins. Overseas sales dropped 7.6% to JPY76m as a result of weak US sales, and despite strong sales of running shoes and Onitsuka Tiger shoes in the East Asian, Oceanian/Southeast and South Asian regions.

Asics said business was steady in the sporting goods industry in the first quarter on the back of a high level of interest in sports owing to rising health consciousness. As such, the company revised its five-year strategic plan in order to boost growth in areas such as digital commerce and in the US and Chinese markets.

Investments have included the launch of the HyperGel-Kenzen running shoe in the US, the opening of a number of flagship stories, including the introduction of shoe customisation at its Omotesando Tokyo store, and the introduction of digital marketing tools to expand points of customer contacts and strengthen communication.