German sportswear and sports shoe producer Puma AG is continuing to dig its claws into the competition after it posted a stunning 72.7 per cent year-on-year leap in third quarter pre-tax profit to 48.6 million euros.

The company revealed today that sales during the quarter climbed almost 50 per cent to 292 million euros on the back of a strong European performance but added growth in the Americas was not as strong.

Puma said footwear sales rose 60.3 per cent to 198.5 million euros while apparel sales increased by a third to 75.5 million euros. Worldwide Puma brand sales, including sales from licensees, jumped 37.9 per cent to 1.06 billion euros.

It added European sales climbed 54.5 per cent to 221 million euros with double-digit growth in all countries, while sales in the Americas grew by just over a third to 53.6 million euros on shoe revenues.

Sales in the Asia/Pacific Rim region climbed to 11 million euros in the quarter while sales in Africa/Middle East more than doubled to 6.3 million euros.

For the nine month period, worldwide brand sales soared 38 per cent, total sales surged 54 per cent and pre-tax profit surged 125 per cent to 106 million euros.

For the full fiscal year, Puma sees sales growth of nearly 50 per cent which would be its highest growth rate in eight consecutive years of growth.

Chairman and CEO Jochen Zeitz said: "In light of the overall challenging market environment, our strong performance is even more pleasing.

"We are well positioned to further enhance our market share and position with the goal of becoming the most desirable sports-lifestyle brand in the world."