(Reuters) - Moody's on Friday dowgraded Adidas' long-term issuer rating one notch to A3 from A2, citing the sportswear maker's recent profit warning, and left the door open to a further cut as it maintained a negative outlook on the company.
Adidas warned on Feb. 9 that it could plunge to a loss this year for the first time in three decades, in the latest downgrade triggered by its split from Kanye West, as it raised the possibility of entirely writing off the inventory of the rapper and fashion designer's Yeezy brand.
Moody's said that even though it had expected a weak operating performance from Adidas in the next 12 to 18 months, its actual guidance was "well below Moody's expectations."
While it described the company's new outlook as conservative and noted its leading position in the global sportswear industry and strong brand, Moody's said its negative outlook reflected "the substantial uncertainty around the near-term improvements of adidas' credit metrics and liquidity profile following the release of a very weak earnings guidance for 2023."
($1 = 0.9373 euros)
(Reporting by Tristan Chabba in Gdansk; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)