German sports gear maker Adidas has said it's aiming to log record revenue in 2012 and in the next few years. The company has brushed aside accusations it would tolerate sub-standard wages at Asian facilities.
Sports equipment maker Adidas said on Thursday that it was hoping to log record sales this year and beyond. CEO Herbert Hainer told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily that revenue for 2013 would exceed 14.5 billion euros ($19.2 billion), marking a nine percent rise from last year's levels. He said sales volumes could rise to 17 million euros annually by 2017.
"But the eurozone debt crisis is making it harder for us to achieve our objectives," Hainer said. "The high unemployment rate and the economic woes especially in southern Europe aren't particularly helpful."
He added, though, that business was brisk in the US, Russia and China. Hainer stated that the German company's sales would be boosted further next year though the introduction of a new generation of running shoes that could see the firm grow despite the lack of major international sporting events.
'Legal' wage levels
Adidas' chief executive rejected accusations leveled against the company by human rights organizations, claiming that it was using Asian suppliers who pay their workers unacceptably low wages.
"Our suppliers all stick to relevant minimum wage stipulations," Hainer said. "The respective governments - be they democratically elected or not – define the minimum wages, and we stick to the rules, but we can't assume the role of a world policeman."
Hainer added that parts of the textile production cycle had been moving closer to home lately, with many items now being manufactured in Turkey or southern European states. "From there, we can deliver our products to the whole of Europe within 48 to 72 hours."
On the other hand, he said that there was no such trend back to Europe when it came to producing shoes. Hainer explained that the whole expertise in that sector had long moved to Asia, and the development couldn't be quickly reversed.
hg/pfd (dpa, AFP, Reuters)