German sporting goods maker Puma AG has reported a 50 per cent hike in fourth-quarter net profit following sales increases in all its retail areas.

Profit totalled €37.1 million compared to €24.5m in the year-before period, while total sales grew 20 per cent to €273m.

Sales of footwear rose 29.1 per cent on a currency-neutral basis to €176m, while apparel sales increased 14.4 per cent to €77m and accessory sales 16.1 per cent to €21m.
Puma predicts a 5 per cent profit increase for 2005, which would mark the slowest rate of growth for seven years.