Puma Raises Full-Year Guidance But Remains Cautious As US, China Trade War Fears Intensify

Puma said that first-quarter sales rose around 12 percent to 1.13 billion euros ($1.39 billion) in a preliminary results release with few details and slightly increased full-year guidance.

The sales increase was 21 percent when adjusted for currencies, but the company warned against expecting such swift growth in the coming months.

“The first quarter saw a strong increase in sales and profitability, but several uncertainties in our business environment have recently developed,” said Puma, known for its leaping cat logo, in its brief statement on Thursday.

“This includes adverse and volatile currency developments, political instabilities as well as the uncertain trade environment between the USA and China,” it continued.

The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based sportswear company said that operating results rose to around 112 million euros, compared with 70 million for the first quarter last year.

Puma slightly increased full-year guidance, saying it expects sales for 2018, adjusted for currencies, to rise between 10 percent and 12 percent, slightly higher than the previous forecast of a 10 percent increase. Operating results are expected to reach between 310 million euros and 330 million, a slightly higher range than the previous expectation of between 305 million euros and 325 million, the company said. Puma still expects net earnings to improve significantly over the year, it added.

Under the leadership of CEO Bjørn Gulden, Puma has positioned itself firmly as a sports brand while drawing on fashion to shore up its appeal with younger generations. It has posted strong financial results in recent quarters, but its luxury owner, Kering, is spinning off the bulk of its holdings to concentrate on its higher-end businesses.

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