Puma AG, the world's third-largest sporting goods maker after Nike and Adidas, reported a decline in third quarter income to €68 million, or $102 million, or €4.50 per share, from €89 million, or €5.81 per share, a year earlier, as consumer spending continued to lag resulting from the downturn. Meanwhile, Puma’s operating margin, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as a percentage of sales, fell to 14.5% from 17.5% a year earlier. It added that third quarter sales of footwear were down by 13.0% at €358.7 million, while apparel sales fell by 5.2% to €238.1 million. Due to first time consolidations, accessories sales improved significantly by 38.5% to €76.6 million. Acknowledging the difficult business climate and profit in all three quarters so far, Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said in a statement: "We hope to see first signs of an improving business environment in the run up to the football World Cup in South Africa, where Puma through its strong ties with African Football has a home field advantage."

—Tim Yap