• Q2 profit jumps 40% to $537m
  • Revenues rise 8% to $6.4bn
  • Gross margin up 140 basis points to 43.9%

Sporting goods giant Nike has reported a 40% hike in second-quarter net profit, bolstered by higher revenues and continued margin improvement.

Net income reached US$537m for the three months to 30 November, up considerably on the $384m booked in the same period of last year.

Revenues increased 8% to $6.4bn from $6bn last year, and were up 9% on a currency neutral basis. Revenues for the Nike brand grew 9% to $6.1bn, with growth in every product type, geography and key category.

Converse brand sales rose 11% to $360m, driven by strong performance in its largest owned markets: North America, the UK, and China.

Gross margin improved 140 basis points to 43.9%. The company attributed the increase to a shift in the mix of its revenues to higher margin products, higher average prices, easing raw materials costs, and continued strength in the higher margin direct-to-consumer business.

"Our strong second quarter results show why Nike leads the industry," said president and CEO Mark Parker.

"Our powerful portfolio fuels growth across our categories and geographies. Because we never stop innovating, we enhance our ability to serve the athlete, inspire consumers and elevate the marketplace.

He added: "We will continue to seize the best opportunities to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders."

Year to-date net income increased 38% to $1.32bn from $951m in the prior year, while revenues reached $13.40bn, up 8% on last year's $12.43bn.