According to Puma, which celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019, the significant difference between reported and currency-adjusted sales growth was due to the weakness of several major currencies against the euro. Net earnings in 2018 increased +38% from €135.8 million in the previous year to €187.4 million in 2018., resulting in an improved earnings per share of €12.54 compared with €9.09 a year ago. Gross profit margin improved from 47.3% to 48.4% in 2018, mainly driven by further improvements in sourcing and higher sales of new products with a higher margin, according to the Group.
In the EMEA region, sales rose +11.4% currency adjusted to €1,800.3 million (+9.4% reported), mainly due to sales in France, Spain, the UK, as well as Russia and Turkey, which all posted double-digit sales growth. In the Americas, sales increased +16.9% currency adjusted to €1,612.5 million (+7.9% reported), with both North and Latin America contributing double-digit growth rates. Puma said the weakness of the Argentinian Peso against the Euro, however, led to the significant negative currency impact in the region. In the Asia/Pacific (APAC) region, growth was particularly strong with currency-adjusted sales up +28.8% (reported +24.2%), mainly driven by high growth in China and Korea, while sales in Japan increased at a more moderate mid to high single-digit rate. Including e-commerce, Puma’s overall retail sales increased +24% currency-adjusted to €1.127,5 million.
Footwear is said to have continued to be a strong sales driver throughout the year, with sales up +16.6% currency adjusted to €2,184.7 million (+10.6% reported), exceeding the €2 billion sales mark for the first time. Running and Training as well as Sportstyle were the categories with the strongest growth rates.
For the full year 2019, Puma expects currency-adjusted sales growth of around 10% and says it is “well on track” towards achieving its medium-term ambition of 10% EBIT margin by 2021-22, with average annual sales growth of 10% in constant currency.