Adidas AG announced its Q4 earnings today, capping off what the brand calls a "financially and operationally" strong 2017 and continuing its much-publicized North American resurgence.
"We made great progress toward achieving our mission to be the best sports company in the world. Our strategic growth areas—North America, Greater China and Digital Commerce—were the main drivers of our performance," said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in a press release.
Speaking with CNBC, Rorsted dove deeper into the brand's accomplishments, touting its partnership with tech company Carbon and announcing sales figures for the brand's sustainable Parley for the Oceans collaborations, which he says Adidas sold 1,000,000 pairs of in 2017.
“We don’t believe buying an extra brand will create value for us. But what we’ve done is, for instance, buying an equity share in a U.S. company called 3D Carbon. That allows us to do a 3D-printed shoe and bring a customized shoe into the market," Rorsted told CNBC. "We will this year sell 100,000 completely 3D-printed shoes and that’s where we invest money, in companies that have a technology that we need or companies that have materials that are unique, like Parley for the Oceans, where we last year sold 1,000,000 shoes made out of ocean plastic."
Increasing production of its Parley for the Oceans shoes has been a focus since Adidas unveiled the partnership in 2015. In early 2017, the brand announced plans to produce 1,000,000 pairs—a promise it's apparently delivered on—and this year, it has an even more ambitious aim with a goal of 5,000,000 Parley units.
"The Fall/Winter 2018 Ultra Boost will have 80 percent of the upper material made from ocean plastic," Adidas Global Head of Running Andre Maestrini told Sole Collector last June. "It is no longer an addition. It is going to be how we make the Ultra Boost in the future. That's how seriously committed we are with this idea."
Adidas and Reebok combined for a 31 percent North American sales increase with a 32 percent surge in Greater China. Moving forward, the company has upgraded its 2020 target, with net income expected to grow between 22 and 24 percent each year versus previous projections of 20 to 22 percent.