• Q1 profit declines 29.2% to EUR36m
  • Sales fell 7.1% to EUR725.7m
  • Currency impacts to reduce full-year earnings margin
Pumas net earnings declined by 29.2% to EUR36m in the first quarter

Puma's net earnings declined by 29.2% to EUR36m in the first quarter

Sportswear firm Puma has warned of lower full-year earnings after volatile currencies and lower sales led to a double-digit drop in first-quarter profit.

The German company today (14 May) said net earnings tumbled by 29.2% to EUR36m (US$49.4m) during the first quarter, from EUR50m in the prior year period.

Sales fell 7.1% to EUR725.7m from EUR781.6m last year. On a currency adjusted basis, sales edged down 0.5%.

By region, Asia Pacific posted the largest decline - at 11.6% - while the Americas and EMEA saw sales fall 9.6% and 3.1% respectively in euro terms.

Accessories was the only segment to record sales growth - 4.3%, while apparel sales fell 4% and footwear saw a 14% decline.

In February, Puma laid down the foundations it believes would return the company to its sportswear focus, with a new brand campaign dubbed 'Forever Faster'.

However, gross margin in the quarter declined 60 basis points to 48.5% from 49.1%, due to negative currency impacts and changes in the regional and product mixes.

The company said currency volatility may reduce full-year net earnings and EBIT margin by around 50 basis points.

Nonetheless, CEO Bjoern Gulden said Puma's repositioning is making progress. 

"We know that the repositioning of Puma and the turnaround of the business will take time, but I am convinced that we are progressing well on all our key strategic priorities and that we have initiated the right projects to make 2014 the start of the turnaround," Gulden added.