• Q1 net earnings rise 7.1%
  • Sales up 13.2%
  • Gross profit margin at 52.4%

German sporting goods company Puma has posted a 7.1% rise in first quarter earnings and says it hopes to generate record full-year revenues of EUR3bn, despite higher sourcing costs related to raw materials and wages.

Puma’s first quarter consolidated sales reached EUR773.4m (US$1.28bn), rising 9.3% in currency adjusted terms and 13.2% in Euro terms when compared to the same period last year. This represents Puma’s best ever first quarter, the company said.

In regional terms, sales in EMEA grew by 4.4% currency adjusted to EUR374.5m, Asia/Pacific posted a gain of 6.9% to EUR163.9m, and Americas' sales grew 19.9% to EUR235.1m.

Consolidated net earnings rose 7.1% to EUR77.7m, up from EUR72.5m the year before.

In its outlook Puma cited the risk of higher input prices in the form of raw material and wage costs for the second half of the year, but said the outlook for 2011 was favourable. "We continue to expect an improvement in net earnings in the mid single digit range for 2011 whilst targeting the EUR3bn milestone in sales," the company said.

“The first quarter performance was a strong start to 2011 and our Back on the Attack growth plan, as Puma managed to generate strong sales growth," noted Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz. "We were even able to mitigate the negative impact we saw from the disastrous events in Japan last month as our Asian/Pacific region contributed an increase in sales to the overall solid company performance.

"For the full year 2011 we continue to expect an increase in net earnings in the mid single-digit percentage range with sales targeting the EUR3bn milestone for the first time. Puma continues to execute on the Back on the Attack company growth plan and performs at levels consistent with reaching the long-term target of EUR4bn in sales by 2015."

Puma also said its shareholders have voted in favour of changing the company from a German ‘Aktiengesellschaft’, or AG, to a European ‘Societas Europaea’, or SE. The conversion is expected to be completed latest by July, it said.

Click here to view the company's first quarter results in full.