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Reebok India fraud 'deep in the past': Adidas

November 15, 2013 18:51 IST

Terming last year's Rs 870 crore (Rs 8.7 billion) fraud at its arm Reebok India as a 'thing in the past', Adidas India MD Eric Haskell has said the company is now focused on building the brand and driving growth.

"This (Reebok fraud) is deep in the past for us. We are focused on growing the business. We have been busy with product launches and new marketing activities in 2013," Adidas Group India managing director Eric Haskell told PTI.

Adidas, which owns Reebok, had to take euro 211 million hit on account of the fraud at Reebok India that was allegedly committed by the company's former managing director Shubhinder Singh Prem and former chief operating officer Vishnu Bhagat. The matter is under investigation.

Haskell said the company has always co-operated in the probe. The fraud was uncovered in May 2012.

In March this year, Adidas group had announced that due to the irregularities at Reebok India it had restated its financial statements which "led to a reduction of net income attributable to shareholders of euro 58 million for 2011. In addition, shareholders' equity of the opening balance sheet for 2011 is negatively impacted by euro 153 million".

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) submitted its final report to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is expected to take a final decision soon.

The report is said to have found violations by the Indian as well as overseas management personnel at Reebok.

Meanwhile, Haskell said, fitness brand Reebok India is targeting 40 per cent of total sales from women customers as it plans to open 100 fit-hub concept stores by April 2014.

"There is a big emphasis on focusing on women consumers. We are seeing big increase in the percentage of women's business... we are targeting 40 per cent business from women's stores as we open 100 fit hub stores by April 2014," he said.

The Reebok fit-hub stores offer fitness and training products besides advice, guidance and information on community based fitness events.

Out of the 100 such stores, 50 will be new and the remaining half will be renovated ones, he said.

By 2015, the company plans to convert all of its 400 plus existing stores into fit hub stores.

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