Management Assessment of Performance, Risks and Opportunities, and Outlook


We communicate our financial targets on an annual basis. We also provide updates throughout the year as appropriate. In 2021, financial results especially in Greater China and Asia-Pacific were still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, EMEA and North America were able to offset some of these challenges. As there were still covid-19-related lockdowns in some countries, our digital platforms facilitated consumer engagement, seamless personal experiences and brand building even in times of social distancing. At the same time, we saw increased traffic in our physical stores compared to 2020 due to fewer store closures and less restrictive covid-19 regulation. Moreover, global trends such as the increasing penetration of sportswear () and rising awareness for health and wellness further supported adidas’ development throughout the year. As a result, we delivered top- and bottom-line results which were in line with the guidance provided at the beginning of the year. See Economic and Sector Development

Company targets versus actual key metrics1





Initial Targets


Updated Targets





Currency-neutral sales development




to increase at a
mid- to high-teens rate


to increase up to 20%




to increase at a rate
between 12% and 14%

Gross margin




to increase to a level
of around 52%


to increase to a level
of between 50.5% and 51.0%




to increase to a level
of between 51.5% and 52.0%

Operating margin




to increase to a level
of between 9% and 10%


to increase to a level
of between 9.5% and 10.0%




to increase to a level
of between 10.5% and 11.0%

Net income from continuing operations (€ in millions)




to increase to a level of between € 1.25 billion and € 1.45 billion


to increase to a level of between € 1.4 billion and € 1.5 billion




to increase to a level of between € 1.8 billion and € 1.9 billion

Average operating working capital in % of net sales4




to decrease to a level
below 20%






to decrease to a level below 20%

Capital expenditure (€ in millions)4,5




to increase to a level of
around € 700 million






to increase to a level of
up to € 900 million


Figures reflect continuing operations as a result of the reclassification of the Reebok business to discontinued operations.


As published on March 10, 2021.


As published on August 5, 2021. For Gross margin as of November 10, 2021.


2021 figures reflect the reclassification of the Reebok business to assets or liabilities held for sale.


Excluding acquisitions and leases.

In 2021, revenues increased 16% on a currency-neutral basis. The improvement was driven by increases across all market segments and was in line with the guidance provided at the beginning of the year. Sales grew significantly faster than initially expected in EMEA, North America and Latin America. At the same time, revenues in Greater China and Asia-Pacific increased below our initial projections due to the impact from covid-related restrictions as well as – in the case of Greater China – the challenging market environment and natural disasters. Gross margin ended the year at 50.7%, reflecting an increase of 0.7 percentage points versus the prior year level. While higher full-price sales, lower inventory allowances as well as the non-recurrence of last year’s purchase order cancellation costs drove the increase, unfavorable currency developments and a less favorable channel and market mix weighed on the gross margin development in 2021. In addition, significantly higher supply chain costs as a result of pandemic-related challenges in global logistics markets put further pressure on our gross margin. As a result, the gross margin came in below our initial expectations. Our operating margin increased 5.3 percentage points to 9.4%, in line with our guidance provided in March as we were able to compensate the spike in supply chain costs with an increase in our operating overhead efficiency. Net income from continuing operations increased 223% to € 1.492 billion, and thus exceeded our initial guidance of an improvement to a level of between € 1.25 billion and € 1.45 billion. See Income Statement

Average operating working capital as a percentage of sales ended the year 2021 at a level of 20.0%. This reflects a year-over-year decrease of 5.3 percentage points and is only slightly above the targeted level. Capital expenditure increased 51% to € 667 million in 2021, in line with our guidance. More than 70% of these investments were spent on initiatives as well as on Digital and IT activities. Controlled space initiatives comprise investments in new or remodeled own-retail or franchise stores as well as in shop-in-shop presentations of our products in our customers’ stores. See Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Cash Flows

Beyond our financial performance, we also actively monitor strategic KPIs in order to track the progress of our strategy ‘Own the Game.’ These strategic KPIs include the share of our direct-to-consumer business, the development of our e-commerce revenues, the number of members in our membership program, the share of our sustainable article offering as well as the share of women in management positions in our organization. See Internal Management System

Overview of current status and objectives for selected strategic KPIs





Objective 2025

DTC share




to increase to around 50% of net sales

E-commerce revenues


€ 3.942 billion


to increase to a level of between € 8 billion and € 9 billion

Member base in membership program


240 million members


to increase to around 500 million members

Sustainable article offering1




9 out of 10 articles to be sustainable

Share of women in management positions




to increase to more than 40%


Meaning that they are – to a significant degree – made with environmentally preferred materials.


Our Risk Management team aggregates all risks and opportunities identified through the half-yearly risk and opportunity assessment process to determine the company’s risk and opportunity profile (i.e., the company’s aggregated risk position). Results from this process are analyzed and reported to the Executive Board accordingly. The Executive Board discusses and assesses risks and opportunities on a regular basis and takes into account the relationship between risk and opportunity profile (i.e., the company’s aggregated risk position) and risk appetite as well as risk capacity in its decision-making. Compared to the prior year, our assessment of certain risks and opportunities has changed in terms of likelihood of occurrence and/or potential financial impact. Our risk and opportunity aggregation using a Monte-Carlo simulation determined that the company’s aggregated risk does not exceed the company’s risk capacity threshold with a likelihood of at least 99%. Therefore, we do not foresee any material jeopardy to the viability of the company as a going concern. See Risk and Opportunity Report


In March 2021, we unveiled ‘Own the Game,’ our strategy for the period until 2025, which defines strategic priorities and objectives for the period up to 2025. The strategy is focused on capturing consumer-driven opportunities which, in turn, is expected to spur above industry top- and sustainable bottom-line growth.

We project currency-neutral revenues to increase at a rate of between 8% and 10% per annum on average between 2021 and 2025. Our bottom-line is expected to grow sustainably, as we expect net income from continuing operations to increase by an average of between 16% and 18% per annum in the four-year period between 2021 and 2025. See Strategy See Outlook

Following the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, we project further strong top-line improvements in 2022. Long-term industry trends such as increasing sports participation, the growing penetration of sports-inspired apparel and footwear (‘athleisure’) and digitalization are benefitting this development. As a result, we expect sales to increase between 12% and 14% on a currency-neutral basis in 2022. Gross margin is forecast to continue to recover as significantly higher supply chain costs will be more than offset by a positive channel mix effect, price increases as well as the positive impact from favorable currency developments. The strong top-line development in combination with the expected margin expansion is projected to result in an increase in net income from continuing operations to a level of between € 1.8 billion and € 1.9 billion in 2022. See Outlook

We believe our outlook for 2022 realistically describes the underlying development of the company. However, the outlook for 2022 as outlined in this report is subject to change depending on further developments related to the coronavirus pandemic and industry-wide supply chain challenges. In addition, ongoing uncertainties regarding the economic outlook, the impact from geo-political conflicts and consumer sentiment in both advanced and developing economies as well as re-escalating trade tensions represent risks to the achievement of our stated financial goals and aspirations. No other material event between the end of 2021 and the publication of this report has altered our view. See Outlook


The term is composed of the words athletic and leisure. It describes a fashion trend of sportswear no longer being just meant for training but increasingly shaping everyday clothing.

Controlled space

Includes own-retail business, mono-branded franchise stores, shop-in-shops, joint ventures with retail partners and co-branded stores. Controlled space offers a high level of brand control and ensures optimal product offering and presentation according to brand requirements.

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