Nov 9, 2009
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Puma sees tough fourth quarter, improvement next year

Nov 9, 2009

FRANKFURT, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Puma (PUMG.DE) expects the rest of the year to remain tough as consumers continue to drag their feet on spending, but the German sports goods maker is hoping for a boost from the soccer World Cup next year.


The world's number three behind Nike (NKE.N) and cross-town rival Adidas (ADSG.DE) said on Monday 9 November the market environment would remain challenging in the fourth quarter. It posted third-quarter results that broadly met analysts' expectations.

"We hope to see first signs of an improving business environment in the run up to the football World Cup in South Africa, where Puma through its strong ties with African Football has a home field advantage," Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz said.

Puma's parent company, French retailer PPR (PRTP.PA), already issued key figures in October when reporting its own results.

Puma's third-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 21.6 percent to 98 million euros ($145.8 million), in line with the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts of 101 million euros. Group sales fell 6.3 percent adjusted for currency fluctuations to 673.4 million euros.

Puma shares were indicated 0.3 percent lower, according to pre-market data by brokers at 0721 GMT.

Puma trades a discount to its peers, at 14.2 times 12-month forecast earnings. Adidas has a multiple of 15.3 and market-leader Nike 17.1, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. (Reporting by Eva Kuehnen, Editing by Michael Shields)

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