Sales in footwear were up by 28.8%, driven by performance categories, while sales growth for apparel was 1.5% and accessories fell by 1.7% in the quarter.

The company’s wholesale business saw an increase of 12.4% in the quarter to €1.72 billion, while the direct-to-consumer (DTC) side had an increase of 22.5% to €465.5 million. Sales in owned and operated retail stores were up by 17.3% and e-commerce had an increase of 32.7%.

Regionally, Puma noted that EMEA had strong sales growth of 25.4% to reach €883.8 million while the Asia/Pacific region was up by 27.4% to €476 million. Meanwhile, sales in the Americas came in at €827.9 million with a decline of 0.8%, driven by drops in North America despite increases in Latin America.

The company highlighted that the decline in North America was due to a lower sell-in to the wholesale distribution channel, particularly to off-price retailers, as a result of high inventory levels in the market.

The gross profit margin for the quarter fell to 46.5% while net income dropped by 3.4% to €117.3 million.

Puma CEO Arne Freundt said: “Our Q1 growth was a strong start to 2023. In line with our strategy to be the best partner to retailers, we grew our wholesale business in a challenging environment and further strengthened our performance credibility with strong growth in our strategically important performance categories. Our significant growth in DTC demonstrated Puma’s continued brand momentum globally, including North America and Greater China.

“We benefited from our geographically diversified business, as strong growth in other regions more than offset the decline in North America. The current development of our North American business confirms the importance and necessity of our new strategy to grow more desirable distribution channels and to contain the off-price business in North America as well as to further elevate the brand. It is reassuring that we returned to growth in Greater China after more than two years of declining business and we are cautiously optimistic about an ongoing positive development.”