HERZOGENAURACH: Adidas, the German sporting goods giant, is planning to increase its marketing expenditure in a variety of areas, as it seeks to take advantage of improving economic conditions.

The company reported a 6% decline in sales in 2009, to €10.4 billion ($14.2bn; £9.4bn) on a currency-adjusted basis, with net profits also falling by 62%, to €245 million, over the same period.

Despite this, Herbert Hainer, the organisation's chief executive, argued that "we emerge from the challenges of 2009 with a very healthy financial position and renewed optimism."

"I am convinced that all our brands can capitalise on a rebounding consumer environment in the current year," he added.

With regard to its communications strategy, Hainer revealed that Adidas was planning a "marketing offensive" based around three core elements.

These will include a plan to leverage the FIFA World Cup, being held in South Africa later this year, to drive "record sales" for its football merchandise.

Overall, 12 of the 32 teams competing in the competition will wear kits produced by the German firm, and category sales reached a previous peak of €1.3bn in 2008, thanks to similar events that year.

Elsewhere, Adidas will attempt to further broaden its target audience through its Sports Style range, which concentrates on tapping in to the latest fashionable designs.

"We will launch a new global campaign for Adidas Sport Style to accelerate our momentum with the lifestyle consumer," Hainer reported.

Reebok, which Adidas purchased in 2005, posted a 7.2% decline in sales last year, but enjoyed its first annual uptick in North America since that date over the closing three months of 2009.

This positive trend was driven by its Easy Tone trainers, which are available in four different styles, and have a "balance ball" on the sole.

"With the energy we are creating for Reebok in toning and conditioning, we will return the brand to growth in 2010," Hainer predicted.

Data sourced from Adidas/Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff