Puma Sales Grew 9% in Q4

Despite positive results in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, German sportswear brand Puma ended the year with sales down 1.4 percent to 5.23 billion euros.

“2020 was definitely the most difficult year I have ever experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic put us in situations we have never seen before,” Puma chief executive officer Bjorn Gulden said in a statement. ” I am very happy that we managed to end a very difficult 2020 with – considering the circumstances – a good fourth quarter.”

Puma’s overall sales grew 9 percent in the fourth quarter to reach 1.52 billion euros. Sales had grown 13 percent in the third quarter, leading the company to describe those months as the “best quarter in Puma’s history” after the second quarter was badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the patchy year, the company said it would pay out a small dividend to shareholders anyway.

Sales at the end of last year were driven by customers in Mainland China, with the Asia-Pacific region seeing 11.8 percent growth in the last three months of 2020 and hitting 480.5 million euros in sales. Territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, or EMEA, also saw an increase of 9.8 percent – equaling 492.1 million euros in sales – despite the fact that many stores had to close again in November. In the Americas, Puma reported a 6.1 percent increase in sales, worth 547.5 million euros.

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For the full year, the Americas and Asia-Pacific ended 2020 on a negative note, with sales down 3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. Sales in the Americas totaled 1.78 billion euros and in Asia-Pacific, 1.48 billion euros. EMEA was the only territory where sales grew in 2020, with a 1.5 percent increase to hit 1.98 billion euros.

Puma’s earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT – an important measure of a company’s profitability – also looked good in the fourth quarter, increasing by 14.6 percent to hit 63.3 million euros. However positive third and fourth quarters were not enough to save the year. For 2020, EBIT was more than halved, ending at 209.2 million euros for the year.

The company stated that it expected more of the same in 2021. Around half of the retailers selling Puma products in Europe remained closed due to lockdown measures on the continent and there were similar restrictions in other markets.

“By consequence, a part of our business in 2021 will be once again negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic despite a strong order book and high demand,” Puma’s statement said. Because of this and because of sportswear’s ongoing momentum in the pandemic, Puma remained confident for mid-term growth, the statement concluded.

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