Adidas has today lowered expectations for 2022 after a first-quarter slump as renewed Covid-19-related lockdowns in Greater China continue to hit the German sportswear company.

First quarter currency-adjusted sales shrank by 3% worldwide, to €5.3 billion, while profit from continuing operations fell 38% to €310m, it said today.

In Greater China, sales collapsed by 35% in the first quarter; for the year, revenue is expected to fall significantly due to store closures and strong traffic declines.

The company now expects to come in at the lower end of its 2022 forecast for an 11-13% increase in currency-neutral sales as well as for net income from continuing operations of between €1.8 and €1.9 billion.

Adidas also cut its operating margin forecast, saying it will remain at the previous year's level of 9.4% instead of increasing to 11%.

"In this environment, characterised by severe external challenges, it is imperative to stay focused on our strategic objectives," its chief executive Kasper Rorsted said.

"While we will remain agile, we will not jeopardise our long-term growth opportunity for short-term profit optimisation," he added.

The company expects a return to growth in the second quarter despite the continued sales decline in Greater China and a €200m negative impact from supply chain constraints.

In the second half of 2022, net sales are expected to grow over 20%, driven, among other things, by unconstrained supply, strong momentum in Western markets and major sports events.