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Adidas U.S. push keeps up pressure on Nike, Under Armour

The logo of Adidas is seen on a store in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2016.

The new boss of Adidas (ADSGn.DE) increased sales and profit targets on Wednesday, sending shares in the German sportswear firm to a record high as he pledged to keep investing heavily in the key U.S. market and do more to boost e-commerce sales.

The more ambitious targets will maintain a squeeze on U.S. rivals Nike (NKE.N) and Under Armour (UAA.N), which have both been losing sales to the German brand in their home market, where Adidas's retro Superstar was the top-selling shoe of 2016.

"We are still in catch-up mode in North America," Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted told journalists, noting that the United States accounts for a third of global sportwear sales but is the only market where Adidas significantly lags Nike.

Rorsted, the Danish former head of consumer goods firm Henkel (HNKG_p.DE), replaced long-serving boss Herbert Hainer in October with a mandate to improve profitability after activist shareholders took stakes in Adidas in 2015 as the German firm fell further behind Nike in the United States.

Even before Rorsted took over, Adidas had made significant strides, lifting marketing spending and shaking up its U.S. business, helping its shares rise two-thirds in the last 12 months even though its profitability still lags that of Nike.

Adidas shares, which are now trading at...


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