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SBD/July 28, 2011/FinancePrint All
Puma’s “best-ever second-quarter results kept it on track to reach” $4.3B in annual sales for the first time, a “bright start” for new CEO Franz Koch, according to James Wilson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Koch, who started in his position this week, said that the company “expects to raise prices up to” 10% later this year or in ’12. Rising commodity prices and higher wages in Asia “are set to continue to affect gross margins, which dipped quarter-on-quarter in the company’s main footwear and apparel segments.” Sales rose 9.4% in the quarter to $961M, and more than 11% to $2B during the first half of the year, with “growth strongest in Asia and the Americas.” Puma said that sales in Japan “had rebounded more quickly than expected after the disruption caused by the country’s earthquake and tsunami.” Quarterly net earnings rose 10.6% to $53.7M, while diluted earnings per share rose from $3.21 to $3.58. Operating expenses rose 10.3% to $399.4M during the quarter and Puma said higher operating costs were “in line with overall strategy.” Earnings “should increase this year in the mid-single digit range” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/28).