Puma sales increased by 25.8 percent currency adjusted to 1,548.8 million euros, or increased 19.2 percent reported, despite Covid-19- related lockdown measures and supply chain constraints due to port congestion especially in North America. The company said, all regions and product divisions supported this sales growth with a currency adjusted double-digit increase.
Commenting on the first quarter trading, Bjørn Gulden, chief executive officer of Puma SE said in a release: “Despite the uncertainty about the longevity and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, continued capacity issues and cost increases in global freight and a tense political situation between key regions that could have a negative impact on our industry, we feel confident that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. We believe that we should achieve a full-year sales growth in the mid-teens and that we will achieve a significantly better profitability compared to last year.”
Highlights of Puma’s first quarter results
The company added that sales in Americas were up 38.5 percent, driven by North America, Asia/Pacific grew 28.8 percent, led by Greater China and EMEA was up 14 percent, despite lockdowns in Europe.
The growth was lead by footwear sales growth of 27 percent and apparel sales growth of 27.2 percent, based on strong demand for running and training as well as sportstyle categories. Accessories growth was at 19.4 percent, supported by golf, as well as the leg- and bodywear business.
Puma’s wholesale business increased by 24.3 percent to 1,202 million euros, despite lockdown related store closures in several markets and supply chain constraints in North America. The direct to consumer business (DTC), which includes company-owned and operated retail stores as well as e-commerce, increased by 31.3 percent currency adjusted to 346.8 million euros, driven by strong growth in ecommerce of 74.9 percent currency adjusted.
Puma reports strong profit growth
The gross profit margin in the first quarter improved by 90 basis points to 48.5 percent despite negative currency effects.
The company further said that operating result (EBIT) in the first quarter increased to 154.3 million euros due to strong sales growth, higher gross profit margin and continued OPEX control. This resulted in an improved EBIT margin of 10 percent in the first quarter of 2021.
Net earnings increased from 36.2 million euros to 109.2 million euros and earnings per share were up from 0.24 euros in the first quarter of 2020 to 0.73 euros in the first quarter of 2021.