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"The first quarter of 2019 was the best quarter Puma has ever seen. Revenue of €1,319 million is the highest Puma has ever achieved in a quarter and the EBIT of €143 million (EBIT-margin 10.8 per cent) was also the highest absolute EBIT PUMA has ever achieved. So, it has been a very good start into the year. The growth in all regions and all product divisions shows that we continue to make progress. Even if we have nine more months to go and despite a lot of uncertainty in the market, we feel comfortable that we will achieve our guidance for the full year,” Bjørn Gulden, chief executive officer of Puma.
The gross profit margin improved by 80 basis points from 48.2 per cent to 49.0 per cent. The increase resulted from a favourable product mix with higher growth in apparel and a favourable
regional sales mix with higher sales growth in the Asia/Pacific region. Currency effects also had a slight positive impact on the gross profit margin development in the first quarter.
Operating expenses (OPEX) rose by 16.8 per cent to € 510.7 million in the first quarter. The increase was mainly caused by higher sales-related variable costs, including logistics costs as well as higher marketing and retail investments.
For fiscal 2019, the company expects currency-adjusted growth of around 10 per cent in sales, slight improvement in gross profit margin as compared to last year. The EBIT is likely to be in a range between €395 million and €415 million with OPEX likely to increase at a slightly lower rate than sales. (RR)
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