Puma raises forecast after leap in sales and profits

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) –


German sporting goods firm Puma raised its sales and profits forecasts for the full year Monday, saying it enjoyed strong second-quarter performance and was confident for the second half.

The Bavaria-based firm now expects to increase sales between 12 and 14 percent, adjusting for currency effects -- up from "a low double-digit percentage" increase previously.

That would mean growth up to twice as fast as last year's, when high-profile sponsorships of sports teams like France's footballers, star athletes including sprinter Usain Bolt and celebrity endorsements from Rihanna and other musicians powered Puma ahead.

Global sporting events such as the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament helped showcase the leaping-cat logo to millions worldwide.

But the lack of such rare high points hasn't held back growth this year for the Nike and Adidas rival, with currency-adjusted sales reaching 968.7 million euros between April and June -- a 16.3-percent increase on the same period in 2016.

The group also saw a massive boost to its operating, or underlying, profit in the second quarter, bringing in 43.4 million euros compared with 11.9 million last year.

That prompted Puma to lift its operating profit prediction to between 205 and 215 million euros ($235-256 million) for 2017, up from past guidance of between 185 and 200 million euros.

It offered less detail on its bottom line, saying only that it expected net profits to improve "significantly" compared with last year's level of 62.4 million euros.

That figure was a 68-percent improvement on 2015 profits.

Monday's announcement was the second time Puma lifted its forecasts for this year, as it reported a sunnier outlook in April following a strong first quarter.

The company will release full second-quarter results on July 26.