Puma Brand Resurgence: German Sportswear Continue to Wax Strong Financially

German sportswear company Puma has posted a 33-per-cent increase in operating profit to continue its financial improvement on the back of a year of major sporting events.

Puma unveiled its full-year financial results for 2016 today (Thursday), with earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, standing at €128m ($137.3m). Puma had reported a 42-per-cent drop in its net profit for 2015, but targeted a strong 2016 aided by major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, Uefa European Championships and Copa America Centenario.

The 2016 result was slightly above Puma’s EBIT guidance of a range between €115m and €125m. Meanwhile, the company’s full-year sales rose by 10 per cent to €3.627bn. The currency-adjusted increase was slightly above the sales guidance, which had anticipated currency adjusted growth to be in the high single-digit range.

Puma said that sales in the EMEA region showed the highest increase, rising by 13.2 per cent to €1.383bn, with France and the DACH area of Germany, Austria and Switzerland highlighted as having developed particularly well.

Puma chief executive Bjørn Gulden, who is in the fourth year of a turnaround project, said: “The year has confirmed that our strategy has been right and we will continue to invest in our mission of becoming the Fastest Sports Brand in the World. We feel confident that we will continue to see revenue growth and a significant increase in earnings again in 2017.”

In June French luxury goods group Kering rejected speculation that it was prepared to sell Puma, stating its commitment to the company until at least 2018. Kering acquired its controlling stake in Puma in 2007, but persistent rumours have surrounded its long-term ambitions for the firm.

Asked about Kering’s intentions for the firm, Gulden said he had seen no sign that anything was changing at a board meeting on Wednesday.

For 2017, Puma expects currency-adjusted net sales to increase at a high single-digit rate. It added in a statement: “Puma’s management is optimistic that 2017 is another important year with great opportunities and that Puma is well positioned to carry the brand’s positive momentum into 2017 and beyond.”

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