Adidas has announced the completion of the first tranche of a share buyback program, saying that it will give a total return to shareholders of more than €1.5 billion in 2018. The company bought back 5.1 million shares, corresponding to 2.5 percent of its equity, between March 22 and Dec. 4 at an average price of €196.45 per share, for a total outlay of around €1 billion, or one third of the total amount budgeted for through May 2021. A second tranche is set to be bought back in January. The buyback program complements the group's stated policy of paying an annual dividend in a range of 30 to 50 percent of net income from continuing operations. Adidas plans to cancel the majority of the repurchased shares.