U.S. Sales Show Gains for Puma

Puma AG’s North American business is on the rise.

Analysts said growth in that sector was the “one big positive standout” for the German athletic company in the second quarter.

“Generally speaking, Puma’s U.S. business continues to be very good, and it doesn’t seem to be abating,” said Christopher Svezia, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. “They’re doing a better job segmenting the running and casual businesses, expanding and evolving the product and growing doors.”

But the company’s overall sales didn’t get the boost that other athletic companies saw during the World Cup.

Revenue in the three months increased 3 percent to 615.4 million euros, or $805.3 million at current exchange, but sales fell double digits in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions. On a constant currency basis, revenue was down 5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, whereas it was down 3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to data provided by Svezia.

Net profit was 44.8 million euros, or $58.6 million, compared with 38.5 million euros, or $50.4 million, a year ago. Earnings per share were 2.96 euros, or $3.87, up from 2.55 euros, or $3.34, last year. But the results came in under analysts’ expectations, and Puma shares closed 6 percent lower at 221.6 euros, or $290, in the Frankfurt bourse last Thursday.

Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz said in a company statement that Puma performed according to plan in the second quarter and is “gearing up for solid growth in the second half of the year based on a strong outlook.”

He added that the firm will, starting in 2011, be back on track to achieve its long-term sales target of 4 billion euros by 2015.