On a reported basis, Puma’s sales increased 20.6% to €1,479 million (+18.3% currency adjusted) for the fourth quarter of 2019, with double-digit growth in all regions and product divisions, while gross profit margin improved to 47.3%. For full 2019, sales were up 18.4% to €5,502 million (+16.7% currency adjusted), and gross profit margin increased 40 basis points at 48.8%. Net earnings increased 40% from €187 million in 2018 to €262 million, while earnings per share increased from €1.25 to €1.76 correspondingly.
By segment, sales of bags and accessories increased 13.6% in the fourth quarter and +11.1% for the full year, while footwear sales were up 22.6% for the same quarter and +15.6% for 2019. Geographically, full year sales increased 11.2% in the EMEA region, +17.9 in the Americas and +22.8% in the Asia Pacific.
For the full year 2020, Puma expects currency adjusted sales growth of around 10%. However, if Puma ended 2019 posting strong results for the fourth quarter, its CEO, Bjørn Gulden, has warned of the uncertainty surrounding the first quarter of the year due to the spread of the coronavirus. “After a good start into 2020, February has of course been negatively affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. The business in China is currently heavily impacted due to the restrictions and safety measures implemented by the authorities. Business in other markets, especially in Asia, is suffering from lower numbers of Chinese tourists”, said Gulden. “Given the current uncertainty around the virus it is of course impossible to forecast its impact on the business”, he added.