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Adidas to sell bulk of golf business

Do Not UseDo Not Use 4/05/2016

The sportswear giant Adidas says it plans to sell most of its loss-making golf business.

The company, which reported strong quarterly sales of its other businesses, said it wanted to concentrate on shoes and clothing.

The German firm launched a review of its golf unit last August.

The popularity of golf has fallen sharply in the US since 2000, the year Tiger Woods was at his peak. It accounts for half of the global market.

Brands Adidas hopes to sell are the TaylorMade, Adams and Ashworth brands, which represent about 60% of its golf unit.

Adidas has owned TaylorMade since 1997, adding Ashworth in 2008 and Adams four years later to make it the world's biggest golf supplier.

In 2015, golf unit sales fell by 13% to €902m ($1.04bn)- about 5.3% of group sales.

Analysts at UBS said the sale should "remove the earnings volatility of an equipment business with higher fixed costs and lower sales visibility than traditional sportswear".

That aside, the company announced a 31% rise in quarterly sales of its core brand in North America, thanks to a rise in marketing, including a series of partnerships with high-profile people including Kanye West.

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