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Nike profit rises and advance orders jump

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The company logo of Nike is shown at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials in Eugene

The company logo of Nike is shown at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials in Eugene, Oregon June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Nike Inc's quarterly profit rose as higher margin products made up a bigger share of its sales, and the sportswear maker said global orders for merchandise for delivery by April increased 13 percent.

Nike shares rose 0.6 percent to $78.75 in extended trading.

Total revenue rose 8 percent to $6.43 billion in the second quarter ended November 30, just below the $6.44 billion Wall Street analysts had forecast on average.

But so-called futures orders, of shoes or clothes for delivery between December and April, rose to $10.4 billion.

In Western Europe, where Nike is whittling away at German brand Adidas AG's No. 1 position, sales rose 12 percent, while futures orders were up 26 percent.

In China, where Nike had overstock problems earlier this year and faced aggressive discounting by local rivals, sales grew 5 percent, a new sign of improvement.

Nike commands 14.6 percent of the global sporting goods market, compared with to 11.4 percent by Adidas, according to Euromonitor data.

Nike earned $537 million, or 59 cents a share, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter. Excluding discontinued operations, profit was up 3 percent. Analysts had expected 58 cents per share according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gross margin rose 1.4 percentage points to 43.9 percent as Nike sold more goods at higher average prices.

Nike's profit was dented by a 13 percent increase in advertising and promotion connected to marketing and product launches for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and World Cup in Brazil next summer.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)