Nike's UK operating profits rise to £10.1m despite fall in revenue

The Sunderland-based sportswear giant saw its bottom line impacted by tax charges following the sale of affiliate company

England players show off the new Nike England Home kit for the 2013 / 2014 season.
Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire
England players show off the new Nike England Home kit for the 2013 / 2014 season. Steven Gerrard, Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshire

Operating profits at sportswear giant Nike (UK) Ltd rose by more than 16% to £10.1m in 2014, despite a fall in revenue.

The Sunderland-based business posted a 13.1% drop in revenue from £75.3m to £65.5m during the year to the end of May 2014.

In accounts filed at Companies House, Nike said it had significantly reduced administrative expenses thanks to a lower level of marketing spend.

The London 2012 Olympic Games had prompted a flurry of marketing activity and expense, both in the run to and during the games, which had helped the brand connect with what it called an “energised marketplace”.

Profit for the year attributable to ordinary shareholders of the company — the firm’s bottom line — fell from £7.9m to £4.7m due to an increased tax charge in the year.

The sale of another UK-based Nike Inc affiliate — thought to be loss-making sports brand Umbro — prompted changes in the firm’s UK tax group and meant no group relief for taxable profits during the financial year.

A one-off tax adjustment of £2.26m, in relation to group relief claimed from prior periods, also impacted the tax charge for the year.

A strategic report accompanying the accounts said: “This positive performance reflects the ongoing strength of the Nike brand and innovative product offering in the UK and Ireland marketplace, which continues to resonate well with both retailers and end consumers.”

Nike (UK)’s ultimate parent company is Oregon-based Nike Inc which saw income before taxes rise to $3.5bn during fiscal 2014.

The firm’s chief executive officer Mark Parker said: “These results demonstrate the energy and excitement Nike brings to the market.

“Our ability to relentlessly innovate for consumers drove our growth in FY14, and will continue to fuel it for years to come. And as we grow, we remain focused on managing all areas of our business to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders.”

Nike increased its Sunderland-based sales and administration workforce to 261 during the period, up from 254.

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