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Volume 6 No. 215


Germany-based sportswear brand Puma "cut its revenue and profit forecasts for this year after reporting first-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates," according to Andrew Roberts of BLOOMBERG. Europe’s second-largest maker of sporting goods "now expects a low-to-mid-single digit decline in currency-adjusted sales." In February, it forecast unchanged '13 sales. The company also said that it is "unlikely to meet its original guidance of low-to-mid-single digit growth in earnings before interest, tax and special items." The stock fell as much as 3.5% in Frankfurt trading, "the biggest drop in three months." Puma is "cutting costs to combat a decline in footwear sales while working to boost its performance-wear credentials with products such as $110 Mobium Elite running shoes" (BLOOMBERG, 5/14).

WINDS OF CHANGE: In London, James Wilson reported Puma "underlined the challenge"  facing incoming CEO Bjorn Gulden. The warning comes as French group PPR, Puma’s majority owner, "is expected to take a tighter grip on its struggling subsidiary," whose underperformance is being blamed "partly on straying too far from its sports roots towards becoming a lifestyle and leisure brand." Puma’s first-quarter sales fell more than 2% year-on-year to €782M ($1M), but the main point of difference with adidas, where first-quarter sales also fell 2%, "was the decline in profitability" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 5/14).

Adidas reports that three shareholders have surfaced from the limit of 5% "where ownership of shares and corresponding voting rights have to be publicized." Frankfurt-based Commerzbank "raised its voting rights" to 7.90%. Sweden’s Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and its German subsidiary increased their voting rights to 7.35%. Paris-based Société Générale lifted its voting rights to a share of 5.12% (ISPO, 5/14). ... Lagardére SCA experienced strong first-quarter business growth, setting the stage for the Lagardére group to report 2.3% growth in its "net sales on a like-for-like basis." Lagardére Unlimited recorded net sales of €110M ($142.7M), up 8.3% on a reported basis and up 4.5% on a like-for-like basis, "due primarily to the timely good performance in TV rights activities (the Africa Cup of Nations notably) and to the good contribution from football club marketing activities in Germany" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/14).