Upbeat Puma lifts forecast

City A.M. Reporter
GERMAN sporting goods company Puma hiked its sales outlook and posted solid third-quarter profits, following in the footsteps of rivals Adidas and Nike.

The company said yesterday it expects the sales outlook to improve in the fourth quarter as it reported demand in North America and Latin America helped boost third-quarter sales by 6.5 per cent. It forecast €4bn (£3.5bn) of sales by 2015 and said it aimed to keep its gross profit margin – a measure of profitability -- stable until then.

Puma, which is controlled by France’s PPR, said it now sees 2010 sales growing by a medium to high single-digit percentage. It previously said it saw sales growing by a low to medium single-digit percentage this year.

The second half of the year continues to show solid sales growth which should more than offset the flat performance in the first half of the year,” Puma said in a statement.

Sales surged 27 per cent in the Americas but were broadly flat in Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Herzogenaurach, Germany-based sporting goods company posted third-quarter net profit of €77.6m up from €67.9m in the year-earlier period and broadly in line with €78.7m forecast in a Reuters poll.