Nevertheless, puma CEO franz koch was confident on wednesday that he would achieve the goals he had set himself for this year. The sporting goods manufacturer is also counting on the tailwind from the european soccer championships and the olympic games in the summer.
"I am confident and optimistic that the products we have just launched or that are still in the pipeline will drive sales in the future," koch explained. He has high hopes for a shoe series with a new technology for athletes as well as for a functional shoe and clothing collection for several sports. Shoes in particular were less well received by consumers in the first quarter than in the previous year, while textiles and accessories were up.
Puma’s target for the year to date has been sales growth in the upper single-digit range and earnings growth in the mid single-digit range. But in the first quarter, profits fell by almost five percent to 73.9 million euros. The operating result (EBIT) also fell by more than eight percent to 102.0 million euros. Sales, in turn, increased by a good six percent to 820.9 million euros – but profits in the euro zone, which is important for the company, fell. Business was particularly poor in italy, france and scandinavia.
Although the development was also due to the late onset of winter in europe, puma stressed – as a result of which the spring collection was ordered late. Nevertheless, the mdax group is also setting fundamentally new course. "Puma has already begun to respond to this challenge and is optimizing its business processes in the region," he said. The aim is to streamline processes in the state companies and centralize some administrative functions at regional level. Whether this is also connected with job cuts, koch could not say yet. Profits to rise again as early as the second quarter.
The shares of the company, which is 80 percent owned by the french luxury goods group PPR and employs a good 10,800 people worldwide, remained virtually unchanged until midday, lagging behind the market as a whole.