Yesterday, sportswear giant Puma held its annual shareholders’ meeting at the brand’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. 

During the conference, not only did Puma publish its (very positive) preliminary results for the first quarter 2017 but also its shareholders elected a new, narrowed board of directors.

In the first quarter of 2017, Puma’s consolidated sales increased by approx. 15% (currency adjusted; approx. 18% in reported terms) to € 1,005 million, compared to € 852 million in the first quarter of last year. The operating result (EBIT) in the first quarter 2017 increased by approx. 70% to approx. € 70 million (Q1 2016: € 41.3 million).

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In light of the strong first-quarter as well as the positive business outlook for the current year 2017, Puma raised its full-year guidance for 2017: The management now expects that sales will increase currency adjusted at a low double-digit percentage rate (previous guidance: currency adjusted increase at a high single-digit percentage rate). The operating result (EBIT) is now anticipated to come in between € 185 million and € 200 million (previous guidance: between € 170 million and € 190 million). In line with the previous guidance, the management still expects that net earnings will improve significantly in 2017.

François-Henri Pinault, CEO, Kering
© Kering
François-Henri Pinault, CEO, Kering
Quite surprisingly, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Puma’s mother company Kering, stepped down from Puma’s board of directors, thereby fueling speculations that Kering might be about to sell the sportswear brand. However, Jean-Francois Palus, who is Kering’s group managing director and part of its board of directors, will remain on the Puma board as chairman.

According to him, the decision to narrow the board was driven by efficiency: "Six members, amongst them two employee representatives, are sufficient for an effective and flexible steering of the company. Additionally, an unnecessary cumbersome decision-making process is avoided this way. The last six years have shown that a smaller board aligns better with the company’s size. We may also not forget that a smaller administrative board also enables the company to save costs”, said Palus.

Thore Ohlsson
© Puma
Thore Ohlsson
Pinault will be succeeded by Thore Ohlsson as vice chairman of Puma’s board of directors. Also Todd Hymel is no longer a part of the board.

Puma will report its full first quarter results on April 25.

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