HERZOGENAURACH, Germany (Reuters) - Adidas (ADSGn.DE) plans to buy back up to 3 billion euros ($3.72 billion) of its shares by May 11, 2021, including up to 1 billion euros this year, it said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of Adidas is seen on an outlet store in Metzingen, Germany, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

The German sportswear company, which has a market capitalization of about 35 billion euros, said it ‍intends to cancel the vast majority of the repurchased shares and will finance the buyback with its current net cash and expects strong cash flow in coming years.

After a strong performance in 2016, Adidas shares have sagged in recent months after disappointing third-quarter results, trading at a discount to rival Nike (NKE.N) despite stronger sales growth. It reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday.

Adidas said in a statement that the ‍new buyback is in addition to company’s policy to pay a dividend in the range of 30-50 percent of net income from continuing operations​.

($1 = 0.8067 euros)

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Goodman

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