Sport and lifestyle company Puma have recorded a decline in sales. Sales in the first quarter of 2013 fell by 2.3% in currency adjusted terms to €782 million when compared to the first quarter of 2012.
Sales in the Americas improved by 1.8% currency adjusted to €260 million (thanks to strong teamsports performances in Mexico and Brazil, successful lifestyle collections in Argentina and good results for the Puma Golf division in North America), whereas sales in the EMEA region fell by 4.8% currency adjusted to €348 million.
According to the company, strong performances in Russia, Turkey and the D-A-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region, where classic footwear models such as the suede and new motorsport apparel lines resonated well, could not offset weak performances in Italy and France.
In the Asia/Pacific region, sales declined by 2.9% currency adjusted to €173 million. Whilst India and Australia delivered positive performances, less satisfactory numbers were achieved in Japan and China, where Fitness & Training products in particular did not perform as expected.
Puma's retail sales increased by 13.9% currency adjusted to €135 million, representing a 17.3% share of total sales. This rise in sales was supported by good results from Puma’s e-commerce business, particularly in North America. 45 underperforming stores were closed by the end of the first quarter.
Puma's gross profit margin fell from 51.2% to 49.1% year on year. Footwear margins dropped from 49.5% to 46.1% and apparel retreated from 53.5% to 51.5%, while accessories improved from 51.9% to 52.6%.
Operating profit declined in the first three months of 2013 from €102 million to €79 million due to the decline in sales and gross profit margin.
The financial result declined from €1.1 million to €-4.0 million in the first quarter.
Puma's earnings before taxes (EBT) for the first quarter declined to €75 million in 2013 compared to €103 million in 2012, representing 9.6% of sales compared to 12.6% for the same period last year. Consequently, tax expenses abated from €28 million to €22 million, representing a tax rate of 29.3% versus 27.1% for the first quarter of 2012.
Consolidated net earnings dropped by 32.0% from €74 million to €50 million. Earnings per share therefore also fell back from €4.92 in 2012 to €3.36 in the first quarter of 2013.
In view of Puma's first quarter results and of continuing economic uncertainty in certain key markets, Puma management now expect a low-to-mid-single-digit decline in currency-adjusted full-year net sales. This forecast represents a slight downward revision compared to the guidance provided with the 2012 full-year results.
Michael Laemmermann, Chief Financial Officer of Puma SE, said: "In the current challenging business climate, especially in Europe and in Asia, we are continuing to implement our transformation and cost reduction program aimed at improving efficiencies and our cost base. This will increase Puma's profitability in the long-term. Confirming our increased focus on performance, Puma's visibility and credibility as a premium football brand have been further enhanced with Borussia Dortmund's progress to the Champions League final."