August 7, 2009 10:44 am

Puma prepares for ‘volatile’ retail sector

Reuters
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FRANKFURT, Aug 7 - Puma, the world’s third-largest sports goods maker, said it expects a challenging second half of the year after posting better-than-expected results for the second quarter on Friday.

”We remain highly cautious and anticipate a continued challenging and volatile retail industry due to the decline of private consumption as a result of the weakness in the global economy, which may negatively impact sales in second half,” Puma said.

Puma, which still did not give a full-year outlook, said second-quarter net earnings fell 15.6 per cent to €38.5m ($55.36m), beating the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts of €34m.

Parent company PPR announced last week that Puma’s second-quarter operating results before special items rose 1.2 per cent to €63.1m on sales of €600.3m, up 4.1 per cent. Both figures beat analysts’ estimates.

German rival Adidas, the world’s number two after US bellwether Nike, on Wednesday reported a 2.5 per cent drop in second-quarter sales, which was slightly better than expected and said it had turned the corner.

Puma shares were indicated 0.1 per cent higher, according to data from brokers ahead of market opening at 07.00.

As part of its efforts to battle the economic slowdown, Puma intensified its cost-cutting measures earlier this year and aims to save up to €150m per year from 2011. Costs for such efforts crippled its first-quarter results.

Puma shares trade at about 14.2 times 12-month forecast earnings, at a light discount to Adidas, which has a multiple of 14.4, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Both trade at a discount to market-leader Nike’s multiple of 16.

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