Marketing costs associated with this year's football World Cup have pushed German sporting goods firm Puma to a 14.9% drop in second-quarter profit, although the tournament also helped sales rise by more than 38%.

Puma, which sponsored 12 teams at the World Cup including competition winner Italy, today said net profit fell to EUR50m (US$64m) from EUR58.9m in the same period last year.

Sales, however, were up 38.2% to EUR547m from EUR395.5m in the second quarter a year ago.

Chief executive Jochen Zeitz said the company's visibility at the World Cup, as well as its strong performance in new categories like golf, had helped "strengthen its position as one of the most desirable sport-lifestyle brands."

Herzogenaurach-based Puma posted a 23.7% hike in footwear sales to EUR328m; apparel sales soared 81.2% to EUR182m; and accessories sales rose by 22.8% to EUR37m. Team Sport sales were up by more than 40%.

In the second quarter, sales in the Asia/Pacific region jumped 140.7% to EUR114m, followed by the Americas region, which saw sales rise by 58.3% to EUR172m helped by strong growth in the US.

Puma's most important region EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) reported a sales rise of 8.9% compared to a year ago.

For the full year, Puma said operating profit (EBIT) is expected to rise to around EUR360m and that sales would rise by up to 35%.

But full-year profit is likely to fall by a high single-digit rate in 2006 on rising costs as it continues to expand its business.