Adidas New Zealand, a subsidiary of the world's second-biggest sporting goods maker, returned a profit last year for the first time since 2007 after the Rugby World Cup helped lift sales.

Profit was $3.5 million in the 12 months ended December 31 from a loss of $665,290 a year earlier, according to the company's annual report. Sales increased about 23 per cent to $62.2 million.

"We saw strong demand across all our range, including the All Blacks product, which certainly benefited from the large number of international tourists visiting the country," David Huggett, e-commerce and business development director for the Pacific region said in a statement to BusinessDesk. "This contributed to our overall performance."

Adidas is the All Black's main sponsor and kit supplier. The German-based company defended claims during the tournament that the team's rugby jersey was selling for half the price overseas. New Zealand's recommended retail price was $220, while the jersey could be ordered online in the US for about $100.


Rebel Sport's managing director Rod Duke gained public support after he publicly criticised Adidas over the high price tag, knocking $50 off the price.

"We are Adidas biggest customer in New Zealand and we enjoyed pretty buoyant sales during the period," Duke told BusinessDesk. "The stand out item was the jumper."

Profit for Adidas's German-based parent increased 18.2 percent to 671 million euro, while sales in New Zealand outpaced the global group, whose total sales climbed 11.3 percent to 13.3 billion euros.

On a regional basis, sales in Asian markets, including New Zealand and Australia, climbed 8 per cent to 2.1 billion euros.

Adidas Group shares are listed on Xetra, the Frankfurt-based all-electronic trading stock exchange and last traded at 59.03 euros. The stock has gained 16.5 per cent this year.