Puma leaps over weak economy

Puma leaps over weak economy
Photo: DPA
The German sportswear company Puma posted on Friday stable third-quarter results despite weaker economic activity worldwide and raised slightly its 2008 sales outlook, but still failed to convince investors.

Puma, which is majority-owned by French luxury retailer PPR, reported a 1.0-percent increase in operating profit to €125 million, and a 0.1 percent slip in net profit to €89 million. Sales of sports shoes climbed by 13 percent in the three-month period, while accessories were up by 16.7 percent.

Markets in the United States and Asia showed the strongest results with a growth of 18.7 percent and 11.9 percent respectively on a 12-month basis.

“Given the results achieved so far this year as well as the order book for the fourth quarter, management raises its sales guidance for the full-year outlook from a single-digit to a mid to high single-digit currency adjusted growth,” a statement said. That meant full-year sales should increase by between five and 10 percent. Equinet analysts called the results “neutral” and said the narrowed sales guidance was rather “cosmetic.”

Puma shares, which had initially jumped following the earnings release, later slumped again by 2.92 percent to €125 in morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while the mid-cap MDax index on which they are listed, was off by 1.27 percent overall.

During the Beijing Olympics in August, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt wore Puma Theseus II shoes with gold soles during his record-breaking wins in the 100- and 200-meter events.