Puma’s gross profit margin improved 80 basis points to 49%, while the operating result (EBIT) improved 27% from €112.2 million to €142.5 million in the first quarter 2019, attributed to a strong sales growth combined with a higher gross profit margin; this corresponds to an EBIT-margin of 10.8% compared with 9.9% in the year ago period. Net earnings were up 40.1% from €67.4 million in Q1 2018 to €94.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, with earnings per share improving from €4.51 to €6.31.

According to the manufacturer, the Asia Pacific region, driven by China, and the Americas contributed with double-digit sales growth, while sales in EMEA “increased solidly”. In terms of divisions, Apparel was the main growth driver in the quarter, followed by Accessories and Footwear. The categories Running and Training, Teamsport, Motorsport and Golf on the performance side as well as Sportstyle all recorded strong growth.

Puma said it confirms its guidance for the full-year 2019 “after a strong start into 2019 both in terms of sales and profitability”. The Company expects sales to grow around 10% on a currency-adjusted basis and EBIT to be in a range between €395 million and €415 million, with a “significant improvement” in net earnings.

Leather Sustainability

The sportswear brand said it has increased its targets for more sustainable raw materials in its production. Following a previous target of 50%, it now aims for 90% of all cotton and polyester used in its products to come from more sustainable sources by 2020. Puma also said it reached its target of sourcing 90% of its leather and paper/cardboard from more sustainable sources two years ahead of schedule, using FSC certified paper and cardboard as well as leather from tanneries with a medal rating of the Leather Working Group (LWG). “Through its 10FOR20 targets set in 2015, Puma aims to improve its sustainability performance in ten areas including the environment and the wellbeing of workers in the factories of its suppliers. At the end of 2018, Puma was on track with eight of the ten targets it had set”, said the manufacturer.