Driven mainly by a stronger demand in the Americas, sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 recovered and rose by 6.3 per cent from the year ago quarter, at sports goods and apparel marketer Puma.
“In comparison with fourth quarter of 2013, sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 recovered and rose from €698.3 million to €750.8 million, which represents a currency adjusted increase of 6.3 per cent,” Puma said.
According to Puma, this was driven mainly by a stronger demand in the Americas as well as a considerable upwards trend in accessories and further recovery in footwear sales.
In the EMEA region, sales grew slightly by 0.6 per cent currency adjusted to €224.8 million, as economic conditions in some European countries remained challenging, while UK posted a very solid performance.
Revenues in the Americas surged strongly by 15.0 per cent currency adjusted to €319.3 million, helped by a good performance in the US and Canada and strong growth rates in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Sales in the Asia/Pacific region rose marginally by 0.7 per cent currency adjusted to €206.7 million, while sales in China and India grew but Korea and Japan performed below last year's levels.
Puma's footwear sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 improved for the second quarter in a row by 4.3 per cent currency adjusted to €310.7 million.
Apparel sales expanded by 3.6 per cent currency adjusted to €293.0 million, while accessories saw its sales mount sharply by 17.1 per cent currency adjusted to €147.1 million.
Puma's gross profit margin in the reporting quarter rose higher from 43.2 per cent in the prior year quarter to 45.0 per cent.
According to Puma, lower price reductions supported by a better product mix in the quarter helped to improve the margin in footwear and apparel segments.
Footwear gross profit margin mounted from 39.5 per cent to 41.6 per cent, apparel margin rose from 44.7 per cent to 47.1 per cent, while for accessories; it dipped slightly from 48.4 per cent to 47.8 per cent.
“After four consecutive quarters of decline, operating expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2014 increased as a result of the intensified marketing activities,” Puma said.
As a consequence, although Puma maintained its focus on a strict cost management, total OPEX rose by 8.6 per cent from €306.2 million to €332.4 million during the quarter.
Combined with the increase in sales and the improved gross profit margin, this led to the higher EBIT before special items of €10.6 million.
As no special items were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014 as against €129.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, operating result increased significantly.
The group's working capital significantly declined by 13.8 per cent from €528.4 million to €455.7 million, while inventories increased from €521.3 million to €571.5 million at the end of 2014. (AR)
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India