Puma explained that on a currency adjusted basis its sales for the three months ending 31 March 2024 (Q1) increased by 0.5% to €2.1bn ($2.26bn), reflecting a negative currency impact of approximately €100m.

GlobalData apparel analyst Pippa Stephens described Puma’s performance as remaining “weak” in Q1 FY2024 due to its sales falling by 3.9% to €2.1bn on a reported basis.

She believes this was because consumers continued to be more selective over their sportswear purchases amid macroeconomic challenges.

Stephens also noted: “[Puma] was impacted by unfavourable exchange rates” as well as being “up against tough comparatives from the prior year”, when reported sales grew by 14.4%.

Puma’s gross profit margin improved by 100 basis points to 47.5% despite major currency headwinds and its EBIT declined by 9.4% to €159m due to negative currency effects on sales, gross profit margin and operating expenses (OPEX) ratio.

The Americas region recorded positive sales growth for the first time in four quarters, growing by 1.0% on a currency adjusted basis to €790m with the US showing a sequential improvement.

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Sales in the Asia/Pacific region increased by 0.6% to €456.6m, driven by continued growth in Greater China.

In the EMEA region, sales were flat at €855.7m, with Europe coming in better than expected.

Puma’s wholesale business declined by 2.9% to €1.6bn, reflecting the continued focus on good sell-through and prudent sell-in to improve inventory levels in the market.

Its Direct-to-Consumer business grew by 13.5%to €494.2m, driven by continued brand momentum and scaled back promotions.

Puma’s sales in footwear were up 3.1%, largely driven by continued strong demand for its football and other performance categories. However, sales in apparel and accessories declined by 2.4% and 3.2% respectively.

Puma Q1 key results

  • Currency-adjusted sales increased by 0.5% to €2.1bn, however sales were down 3.9% on a reported basis.
  • EBIT declined by 9.4% to €159m
  • Net income decreased by 25.5% to €87.3m compared to €117.3m in the same period the year before.

Puma 2024 outlook

Puma expects to achieve mid-single-digit currency-adjusted sales growth and an operating result (EBIT) in the range of €620m to €700m for the financial year 2024. It expects net income to change in 2024 in line with the operating result.

Puma stated: “In line with our expectations, the year 2024 has started with geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges as well as currency volatility. In this environment, we continued to make further progress on our strategic priorities of brand elevation, product excellence and distribution quality, particularly in the key markets US and China.”

Optimism for Puma as the year progresses

Stephens noted that Puma’s Q1 results show a marked improvement on Q4 FY2023, when revenue dropped by 9.8%, signaling a more positive outlook for the rest of the year. This has led the brand to retain its guidance of mid-single-digit currency-adjusted sales growth for 2024.

She continued: “The brand’s growth was fairly consistent across all regions, though the Americas marginally outperformed, with currency-adjusted sales rising by 1.0%, marking its first quarter of growth in over a year. Asia Pacific grew by 0.6%, driven by China, despite its slowing economy and greater competition from local sports players like Anta and Li-Ning, while EMEA’s sales remained flat, due to consumers’ continued cautious attitude towards spending.”

Stephens also highlighted that Puma’s ongoing investments in direct-to-consumer paid dividends, with the channel’s currency-adjusted sales rising 13.5% to reach a 23.5% share of its total sales, giving the brand greater control over its image and customer perceptions. In contrast, she pointed out that its wholesale business fell by 2.9%, reflecting its partners’ more vigilant approach towards their inventory levels.

She added that its footwear division, which remains its strongest, is primarily aided by the constant launch of new styles, including its Future 7 football boot in January 2024 and further drops of its Puma x FENTY trainers throughout the quarter, while it also caters to consumers’ desire for versatile and comfortable items that can be worn day-to-day.

“With several key sporting events happening this year, including the Olympics and UEFA Euros, Puma launched its first global marketing campaign in ten years in April 2024, which highlights the brand’s focus on speed and features athletes like Jack Grealish and Kai Havertz. This will allow it to build top of mind appeal among consumers, and hopefully drive further growth of its core categories throughout the rest of the year,” Stephens added.