Puma SE reported that net profit advanced 35.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017 versus the same prior-year period. The sporting goods maker’s net earnings reached 67.4 million euros, or $82.4 million at current exchange, in the three months ended March 31, versus 49.6 million euros in 2017.
As reported in a preliminary results release, first-quarter sales rose 12.5 percent to 1.13 billion euros ($1.38 billion), boosted by brisk business in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in China, which saw a 34.8 percent spike. The sales increase was 21.5 percent when adjusted for currencies, but the company warned against expecting such swift growth in the coming months.
The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based sportswear firm said operating results rose to around 112 million euros, compared with 70 million euros in the first quarter last year, due to strong sales growth, a higher gross profit margin and improved operating leverage.
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Citing an uncertain trade environment between the U.S. and China, Puma increased its full-year guidance only slightly, saying it expects sales for 2018, adjusted for currencies, to rise between 10 percent and 12 percent, up from its previous forecast of a 10 percent increase.
Operating results are expected to reach between 310 million and 330 million euros, a slightly higher range than the previous expectation of between 305 million and 325 million euros, the company said. In line with previous guidance, management still expects net earnings to improve significantly in 2018.
Puma said it will be the official sponsor of AC Milan for the 2018-19 seasons and of top Brazilian club Palmeiras for the 2019 season. The brand has also signed long-term agreements with the Senegalese and Serbian national soccer teams, both World Cup qualifiers.