For the first quarter Puma’s net earnings went up by 35.8 per cent. Double-digit sales growth in all regions and product segments, including an exceptionally high growth in Asia, led to a strong 21.5 per cent organic sales increase.
Gross profit margin improved by 110 basis points from 47.1 per cent to 48.2 per cent. The increase came from a favorable regional sales mix, higher sales of new products with a better margin and further sourcing improvements. Operating expenses grew by 7.5 per cent in the first quarter. The increase was mainly caused by higher marketing and retail investments as well as higher sales-related variable costs.
The operating result increased by 60 per cent in the first quarter due to a strong sales growth, a higher gross profit margin and an improved operating leverage. This corresponds to an EBIT margin of 9.9 per cent compared to seven per cent in the first quarter last year.
Puma started the year with both first-quarter sales and profitability coming in stronger than expected. Because of an uncertain business environment caused by volatile currency rates and the difficult economic trade environment, Puma has raised its outlook for the full year only slightly. It now expects sales to grow ten per cent to 12 per cent in local currency.