German sports clothing manufacturer Puma's turnover growth slowed down over the past quarter, while its net profit plummeted because of a strong dollar. Rumours about a possible sale of French Kering's stake also (re)surfaced.
Rihanna boosts sales
Over the past three months, Puma's net profit dropped 31 % to 20 million euro, even though turnover grew 3.1 % (including exchange rate fluctuations) to 914 million euro. Nevertheless, turnover growth was considerably lower than the 7.6 % from the previous quarter and below analysts' expectations of a 23.1 million euro profit and a 918 million euro turnover.
CEO Bjorn Gulden was satisfied nonetheless: "I am happy to see that our footwear category has increased for the fifth quarter in a row. The launch of the first PUMA BY RIHANNA shoe, the "Creeper”, has been extremely successful and most retailers have sold out within hours or days. We have generally seen a very positive development in our Women's business and we will put even more focus on the female consumer going forward." He also underlined the increased sales for women's sports and leisure clothing, which is growing even faster than men's clothing.
Puma up for sale (again)?
Financial press agency Bloomberg said it has been informed that French Kering (former PPR and owner of luxury brands Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent) wants to sell its majority stake in Puma.
"Puma’s sales have stagnated around the 3 billion-euro mark since 2011 and profitability has narrowed every year under Kering’s ownership", Bloomberg said. The site points out that Puma was worth 5.3 billion euro at that time, while it is "only" worth 3.3 billion euro nowadays.
When asked to respond to the rumour, CEO Bjorn Gulden gave a brief but decisive statement during a conference call on the quarterly results: "We see this rumour surface every quarter."