Puma said footwear sales were up for the first time in seven quarters

Puma said footwear sales were up for the first time in seven quarters

German sportswear business Puma said it believes things are moving in the right direction after revealing footwear sales have risen for the first time in seven quarters.

In its third quarter, Puma reported a sales increase of 6.4% to EUR843m (US$1bn). Apparel sales rose 11.4% to EUR323m, while footwear sales were up 2% to EUR374m, as Teamsport sales continued to improve.

Consolidated net earnings, however, declined to EUR29m from EUR53m a year earlier. Gross margin declined from 47.1% to 46.3% on the back of adverse currency impacts, as well as shifts within the product mix.

Nonetheless, CEO Bjørn Gulden, said he feels things are moving in the right direction, but added: "As we have said all along, we know that the repositioning of Puma and the turnaround of the business will take time as we need to continue to build confidence in the marketplace.

"I am convinced that our efforts have already translated into better products, better marketing and more efficient operations. In addition, we have now defined the key priorities which will mark the start of our IT infrastructure upgrade, laying the foundations for a fast, lean and efficient company in the future."

Reports earlier this week suggested Puma might be up for sale, with three Paris traders said to be discussing a bid for French group Kering's 86% stake in the brand.