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Puma’s share rose to the highest level in two years as speculation on Kering’s potential disposal of Puma narrows.
Puma’s intraday share prices rose 6.2% to €219.3 euros in Frankfurt, the highest since January 2014, after the company reported third-quarter results in line with expectations.
However, Bjoern Gulden, Puma’s CEO, has not confirmed a potential sale. He has refocused the company’s image on sports and on-the-field performance, resulting in 8.4% sales growth for the third-quarter of 2015, to €914.4 million, an increase of 3.1% in constant currency.
Footwear sales were up 3.5% in constant currency to €408.4 million for the period, helped by success of running and training shoes. Apparel segment sales were up 2.5% in constant currency to €346.9 million, and accessories sales increased 3.7%, currency adjusted to €159.1 million.
“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”, said Gulden who has engaged Puma in the process of revamping its women’s products and marketing, and increasing its focus from lifestyle and fashion to training and running.
However, gross margin dropped 45.8%, due to negative currency effects. Net earnings decreased 30.9% on a reported basis to €20 million compared to €28.9 million in Q3 2014
Some analysts see VF Corp, owner of Timberland, as a potential buyer for Puma as the company is thought likely to continue making acquisitions and could invest more than the US$2 billion it spent on Timberland in 2011.
The French luxury and sports group, Kering, has reported revenue growth for the third-quarter of 2015 that surpassed analysts’ estimates. Read more here.