Puma Q1 Profit, Sales Fall, But World Cup May Help

pumaHerzogenaurach, Germany—Puma SE today reported its first quarter profit fell 25% amid turnaround efforts but sees the upcoming World Cup helping business.

The sports brand posted earnings before interest and taxes fell to 59 million euros (about $80.9 million) from 79 million euros in the same period a year ago. That still beat analysts’ estimate for 58.8 million euros.

Net sales fell 7.1% to 725.7 million euros, but only dipped 0.5% excluding the impact of weak currencies in markets such as Russia, Turkey and Japan. Its core Europe, Middle East and Africa sales rose 0.3%.

‘Repositioning Takes Time’

By category, apparel rose a currency-adjusted 3% , up from a 1.1% fall in the previous quarter. Footwear sales, which accounts for almost half of Puma’s total, continued to slide, falling by an adjusted 7.1% as a positive reception for the new evoPOWER soccer boot failed to make up for a decline in its motorsport business, the company said.

“The repositioning of Puma and the turnaround of the business will take time, but I am convinced that we are progressing well on all our key strategic priorities and that we have initiated the right projects to make 2014 the start of the turnaround,” CEO Bjoern Gulden Gulden said.

Puma’s restructuring began in 2009 and includes a new e-commerce site for the United States, Europe and Russia launching in mid-2014. A new retail format debts with a full- price store in Dubai in the fourth quarter, the company said.

Controlling shareholder Kering SA said last month it won’t acquire more sports and lifestyle businesses until it has turned around Puma. Kering, which owns about 84% percent of Puma, expects to see first benefits of Puma’s 70 million-euro marketing campaign in September.

Puma hopes to gain sales as well as exposure at the World Cup in Brazil beginning next month. The company is sponsoring eight teams in the World Cup.

However, Puma reiterated its annual revenue forecast for flat sales with its deal to supply Arsenal and a new marketing campaign expected to help second half sales make up for the first half fall.


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