All regions showed a double-digit decline in sales during the first half

All regions showed a double-digit decline in sales during the first half

Puma has moved to a net loss for the first half of the year at negative EUR59.4m (US$69.6m) from a EUR144.1m profit a year earlier after sales were pummelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first six months of the year, sales fell 15.4% on a currency-adjusted basis to EUR2.13bn or 16.3% on a reported basis.

All regions showed a double-digit decline in sales with EMEA being down 12.1%, Americas 20.9% and Asia/Pacific 13%. Sales also declined in all product divisions with a currency-adjusted decrease in footwear of 15.2%, in apparel of 18.6% and in accessories of 9%.

Looking at the second quarter alone, sales fell 30.7% currency adjusted, and by 32.3% on a reported basis, to EUR831.1m, with sales declining in all regions and all product divisions. Net loss for the period amounted to EUR95.6m compared with net earnings of EUR49.7m a year prior.

Bjørn Gulden, CEO of Puma, said: "The second quarter of 2020 was the most difficult quarter I have ever experienced. A virus that shut down 85% of all global sports and fashion retail business was an experience that I had never expected. Priority number one was the health and safety of our people, number two to ensure financing and liquidity to survive the crisis and finally to run the business short term as well as possible without destroying the mid-term momentum of our brand.

"The quarter started with a 55% decline in sales in April, May improved but was still heavily down with -38%. The real improvement came in June which was down only 6%.

"Flexibility with our wholesale partners, promotional activities in our own retail stores and a larger focus on e-commerce have been the short-term strategy. Full investment in product development for 2021, continued investment in marketing, digital sell-in meetings with our retail partners and a high degree of local decision-making is the current strategy for the mid-term.

"The uncertainty surrounding the virus and the fact that the number of infected people globally is still increasing makes it impossible to determine an accurate financial outlook for the full year. We continue to feel that there is a positive global sentiment towards Puma among both our consumers and our retail partners worldwide and we will continue to do everything we can to please them."

The group is confident markets will recover by the end of 2020 and 2021 will be "a year of growth". It is prioritising three key objectives: mitigate sales impact wherever possible, secure supply chain, as well ensure financing and manage costs.

"The sporting goods industry is expected to be in a strong position after this crisis. People have already now started doing more sports wherever it is possible, even under difficult circumstances. There are many indications that health and sports will be even more important than before. The casualization trends and the influence of sports brands are also expected to strengthen further. Puma is well positioned to continue its growth and will continue to invest in full new product ranges for 2021," it said.