• Q2 net profit down 4% to US$375m
  • Revenues down 4% to $4.4bn
  • Futures orders rise 4% to $7bn

Nike is poised to return to revenue growth in the fiscal third quarter, despite a 4% fall in net profit during the three months to 30 November.

The Oregon-based sportswear giant beat analysts' forecasts with a second quarter net profit of US$375m, but revenues declined 4% to $4.4bn.

However, the company pointed to a 4% rise in worldwide futures orders, for delivery between December and April, to $7bn.

These were boosted by a 12% rise in orders for Western Europe, a 4% rise in Greater China and a 38% rise in emerging markets.

However, orders to the US fell 4%, dropped 10% in Japan and slumped 15% in Central and Eastern Europe.

Second quarter revenues in North America fell 4% to $1.5bn, while in Europe the fall was 6% to $902m.

Central and Eastern European revenues slumped 24% to $260m, Greater China fell 3% to $404m and Japan edged down 2% to $222m - while emerging markets rose 8% to $555m.

"Our second quarter results are another demonstration of our strategy at work," said Mark Parker, Nike president and CEO. "Our laser-sharp focus across our portfolio of brands, businesses, categories and geographies gives us the flexibility we need in this economy to gain share, lead the industry and leverage the power of global sports."

Speaking later to analysts, Parker reiterated Nike's support for beleaguered golf star Tiger Woods, after the billionaire admitted a string of marital infidelities. "We look forward to his return," he said.

Click here to view Nike's full Q2 earnings release.