LeBron James and Kevin Durant boost Nike shares

The US firm is ending 2016 on a strong footing...

Steph Curry, LeBron James, NBA Finals

Image: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, bottom, drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James in the second half in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Finals, Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 115-101. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Nike is ending the year on a high - it's announced a 7% increase in its net income - growing to $842m.

In the three months to the end of November, Nike sales in China rose by 12% to $1.06bn - when you factor-out the impact of currency swings sales in the country were 17% higher.

The firm's shares have dropped by almost 20% in 2016 - they rebounded last night.

It's now reported growth in 28 consecutive quarters.

Nike remains the world's largest sportswear brand as Under Armour goes from strength to strength and Adidas enjoys a resurgence.

When announcing the results Nike was keen to highlight the role that an upswing in its basketball division had in its overall improved performance.

Brand President Trevor Edwards said, "To be clear, basketball is back," - the company expects this recovery to continue into 2017.

LeBron with a pair of his basketball shoes / PA

"Our basketball business is much healthier today than it has been at any point over the past 18 months," he continued.

The company introduced cheaper versions of its LeBron James and Kevin Durant custom ranges which proved popular with shoppers.

Nike also indicated that changes in its supply-chain will allow it to get new products on the market quicker. Its gross margin shrank by 1.4 percentage points to 44.2%.