2004: Business - Nike makes gains in ’04

Nike Golf reported that fiscal 2004 revenues for its club and apparel businesses increased 43 percent and 34 percent, respectively, reflecting the company’s steady advance into the golf market during the past year.

The golf business, which is a stand alone unit of Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc., did not release specific financial data for its fiscal year ended May 31.

But in a statement assessing its performance, Nike Golf president Bob Wood cited among other factors the success of the Ignite driver and Slingshot irons and new apparel lines for the division’s top-line growth. The Slingshot, in particular, has performed well at retail. According to research firm Golf Datatech LLC, it captured 3.4 percent unit market share in April, making it one of the industry’s top sellers among recently introduced game-improvement irons.

Wood also emphasized the tour validation Nike Golf is gaining, which is essential to the company’s efforts to have consumers accept it as an authentic golf brand.

“On tour we have had a dozen victories since Tiger Woods first put the Ignite driver in play last fall . . . those wins came from nine different athletes from five different countries and on four different continents,” Wood said.

On the ball front, Nike’s One model continues to sell for nearly $43 a dozen, making it the first Nike ball to maintain its presence in the category’s highest price tier. The One and popular Mojo model have helped increase Nike’s ball unit market share in April to 8.8 percent, trailing only the Titleist, Pinnacle and Top-Flite brands.

For the 12-month period ending May 31, Nike Inc. generated revenues of $12.3 billion compared with $10.7 billion the previous year.

Net income totaled $945.6 million compared with $740.1 million, recorded before an accounting change in 2003.

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