Puma Predicts Profit Growth After 'Bumper' Q4 Earnings
Puma forecast a "slowdown in the pace of sales and profit" growth this year after its "bumper" fourth-quarter earnings, which were "boosted by high-profile partnerships" with rapper Jay-Z and singer Rihanna, according to Elliott Kime of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The company’s "eye-catching" RS-X shoes helped full-year sales climb 17%, "stripping out currency moves," while operating profits "jumped by more than twice that amount." Even taking into account "currency headwinds," sales were 12% higher than in '17. Puma said that sales would rise 10% this year on a currency-adjusted basis while operating profits "would be up by as much as" 23%. The world’s third-largest sportswear manufacturer "made a similar sales prediction last year." But a "savvy" social media campaign and celebrity endorsements prompted the group to "upgrade its outlook during the year," helping it to 20% year-on-year sales growth in the first quarter (FT, 2/14).