The firm is on track to add 2,000 stores in China and hit 12,000 by 2020.
German sports apparel brand adidas AG expects its huge operating margin in China to shrink slightly in the long term, while its small U.S. margin grows markedly in the near term, its new chief executive officer said on Thursday.
Kasper Rorsted, on his first visit to China since taking the helm in September, said adidas' margin in Greater China of 35 percent last year would "stabilize and slightly decline". Meanwhile North America, with a margin of 6.3 percent last year from 2.5 percent in 2015, was playing "catch-up".
"We expect a dramatic improvement in margins in the United States, but we expect over time also a slowdown in the margin development in China," he said, without detailing specifics.
The firm's Greater China sales, about half those of North America in 2013, reached 16 percent of its global total last year, just shy of North America's 18 percent.
The sports apparel market, buoyed by supportive government policies and health-conscious consumers, has been a bright spot in China amid tougher conditions for firms from snack makers to cinema operators in the world's second-largest economy.
Rorsted said adidas would "invest heavily" in China, where he saw huge long-term potential. The firm is on track to add 2,000 stores in China and hit 12,000 by 2020.
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