DGAP-News: PUMA SE: PUMA's First Quarter Results in line with Guidance

 DGAP-News: PUMA SE: PUMA's First Quarter Results in line with Guidance   DGAP-News: PUMA SE / Key word(s): Quarter Results PUMA SE: PUMA's First Quarter Results in line with Guidance  14.05.2014 / 08:00  ---------------------------------------------------------------------  PRESS RELEASE  PUMA's First Quarter Results in line with Guidance   Negative Impact of Volatile Currencies  Herzogenaurach, May 14, 2014  2014 First Quarter Facts   - Stable currency adjusted sales of EUR 726 million    - OPEX improves, reduced by 3.8% to EUR 298 million    - EBIT at EUR 59 million    - Continued balance sheet focus results in further working capital     improvement   Bjørn Gulden, Chief Executive Officer of PUMA SE: "PUMA's currency adjusted sales and operating margin for the first quarter were in line with our expectations - yet negatively impacted by adverse currency affects. During the quarter, we continued to make progress towards our mission to become the Fastest Sports Brand in the world and achieved all our key project milestones in this pursuit. We know that the repositioning of PUMA and the turnaround of the business will take time, but I am convinced that we are progressing well on all our key strategic priorities and that we have initiated the right projects to make 2014 the start of the turnaround."  Sales performance in line PUMA's first quarter sales performance in 2014 was in line with our expectations. Currency adjusted sales declined slightly by 0.5% to EUR 726 million. This represents a decrease in reported terms of 7.1%, as currency volatility in Russia, Turkey, North America, Latin America, India and Japan had a negative impact on sales in Euro terms.  Improved performance in EMEA  Sales rose by 0.3% currency adjusted to EUR 337 million in the EMEA region. Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom continued to deliver strong performances in the first quarter of 2014, which offset declines in Scandinavia and France, where wholesale revenues remained weak.  Sales in the Americas declined by 0.5% currency adjusted to EUR 235 million. Sales in North America improved slightly, while we recorded mixed sales performances within Latin America with improvements in Chile and Argentina and a major decline in Brazil.  Asia/Pacific sales decreased by 2.1% currency adjusted to EUR 153 million. Sales in China were up slightly, but business in Oceania decreased. Japan also declined, impacted by weaker sales in the Golf category.  Mixed segment performance in the first quarter Footwear sales declined by 7.1% currency adjusted to EUR 321 million as the Motorsport business continued to decline in mature markets. The Teamsport category was, however, strengthened by the positive global reception of the new evoPOWER football boot during the first quarter of the year.  Ahead of the Football World Cup in June, the launch of PUMA's football jerseys for its eight teams, including Italy, Chile and Ghana, helped Apparel sales increase by 3.0% currency adjusted to EUR 246 million.  Accessories performed well in the first quarter, with sales increasing 9.5% currency adjusted to EUR 159 million due to continued demand for PUMA's socks and bodywear.  Retail performance PUMA's first quarter Retail sales were stable on a currency adjusted basis at EUR 124 million, with comparable sales in full-price stores and outlets up, while operating a slightly lower number of stores. Retails sales represented 17.1% of total sales compared to 17.3% last year.  Gross Profit Margin decreases to 48.5%  PUMA's gross profit margin declined by 60 basis points from 49.1% to 48.5% in the first quarter due to negative currency impacts and changes in the regional and product mixes. The Footwear gross profit margin declined from 46.1% to 44.1%, as high margin Motorsport Footwear in particular declined. Apparel increased from 51.5% to 53.6% related to strong Teamsport business and Accessories decreased from 52.6% to 49.7% impacted by negative currency effects.  OPEX improvement in the first quarter  PUMA continued to maintain a strict approach to its operating expenditures in the first three months of the year. OPEX declined by 3.8% to EUR 298 million in spite of higher marketing investments.  Operating Result (EBIT) declines Improved first quarter operating expenditures could not fully offset weak currencies in a number of countries, which impacted reported sales, and a softening of the gross profit margin. As a result, PUMA's operating profit decreased from EUR 79 million to EUR 59 million for the first three months of 2014. The EBIT ratio decreased from 10.1% to 8.1%.  Financial Result improves The financial result improved from EUR -4.0 million to EUR -3.2 million in the first quarter. The result remained negative due mainly to currency conversion impacts.  Net Earnings decrease PUMA's consolidated net earnings declined by 29.2% from EUR 50 million to EUR 36 million. As a result, earnings per share decreased from EUR 3.36 to EUR 2.38 in the first quarter of the year.  Net Assets and Financial Position  Working Capital improves  The company's continued strong balance sheet management resulted in an 11.5% decrease in inventory to EUR 524 million and a 14.8% decrease in trade receivables to EUR 506 million. With the decline in trade payables also taken into account, PUMA's working capital improved by 13.1% from EUR 775 million to EUR 674 million at the end of March.  Cashflow / Capex The Free Cashflow before acquisitions improved slightly to EUR -132 million in spite of lower operational cashflows.  Capex increased from EUR 9 million to EUR 12 million, which was mainly invested in the opening and refitting of selected retail stores as well as office and IT equipment.  Cash Position improved PUMA's net cash position improved from EUR 207 million to EUR 229 million at the end of the first quarter.  Brand Update  In March, PUMA revealed the new national kits for its eight national football teams heading to the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The home and away kits for Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Chile and Uruguay all feature PUMA's new football apparel innovation PWR ACTV, a first-to-market use of both athletic taping and compression within the apparel.  Cobra PUMA Golf athlete Lexi Thompson fulfilled her number one goal for 2014 by winning her first ever major. After taking the lead during the second round, Lexi shot a final round of 68 to win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She has been using Cobra Golf equipment and wearing PUMA Golf gear on the course since she first turned pro in June 2010.  In Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton of the PUMA-supplied Mercedes AMG Petronas team took the world championship lead from his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by winning his fourth race in a row at the Spanish Grand Prix last Sunday. Lewis led from start to finish to win a tense battle with Nico, with the rest of the field far behind. With PUMA-partnered Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso currently third in the standings, the current top three F1 drivers are all equipped with PUMA products and wear the PUMA evoSPEED II Pro.  Strategy Update  In line with PUMA's mission to become the Fastest Sports Brand in the World, we have continued our efforts to make PUMA faster and more efficient. This strategy encompasses the repositioning of PUMA as the World's Fastest Sports Brand, the improvement of our product engine, the optimization of our distribution quality, and increasing the speed within our organization and infrastructure.  In terms of our brand repositioning, we have completed the definition of our brand platform and are now translating them into a marketing campaign, which will be launched in August 2014 - the biggest campaign for PUMA ever. The campaign will showcase many of our great athletes like Usain Bolt, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Fowler, Marta and Lexi Thompson in their pursuit of our brand mantra Forever Faster.  To improve our product engine, we have adapted our design language in accordance with our new brand platform. Torsten Hochstetter, our Global Creative Director, translated our brand mantra "Forever Faster" into a new distinctive design language for PUMA, which takes its clear inspirations from our heritage and our roots in sports. With innovative products and a more commercial focus, we are convinced that we will have a strong product offering in place to excite the market in Spring/Summer 2015.  We have also started to improve the quality of our revenues and distribution. Our current focus is to reestablish the relationships with our Key Accounts using dedicated product and marketing programs. With the PUMA Lab at Foot Locker, we have a large scale program in more than 100 doors in the US in place, which provide a great opportunity to showcase our brand and great products in this opinion-leading retailer. We are satisfied with the results as our comparable sales are significantly up. Furthermore, we are currently adapting our direct-to-consumer channels to our new brand direction: Our new unified eCommerce site will be launched in the USA, Europe and Russia by mid 2014 and our new retail format will launch with our new full-price store opening in Dubai in the fourth quarter of 2014.  We have also continued to make our organizational structure and setup faster. As of 2 May, our PUMA Village development center in Vietnam is closed. Our developers have moved into the sample rooms of our suppliers' factories to speed up our development process, while our office employees moved into our new offices in central Ho Chi Minh. The property sale of PUMA Village is currently ongoing. Our relocations of the Lifestyle Business Unit from London and of the Global and European Retail Organization from Oensingen, Switzerland, to our headquarters in Herzogenaurach are in process and will be finalized by the end of May and September respectively.  Outlook for the Financial Year 2014  2014 will be a turnaround year for PUMA, where the brand will be re-established in the market place and brought back to a path of profitable and sustainable growth in the mid-term. To support this turnaround, PUMA will continue to invest strongly in marketing and sports assets, while maintaining tight control on other operating expenditures.  Based on the results of the first quarter and our assumptions at the beginning of the year, which foresaw stable currencies, our expectations for full year net sales (flat), gross profit (slight increase), OPEX (increase due to Marketing Investments) and EBIT/Net Earnings (approx. 5% / 3% of net sales respectively) remain unchanged. Given the current currency volatility, which is weighing negatively on our results, there may be a correspondingly negative impact of around 50 basis points on the EBIT and Net Earnings margin for the full year.  Media Relations:    Kerstin Neuber - Corporate Communications - PUMA SE - +49 9132 81 2984 - kerstin.neuber@puma.com  Investor Relations:  Carl Baker - Finance - PUMA SE - +49 9132 81 3188 - carl.baker@puma.com  Notes to the editors:   - This press release and financial reports are posted on     www.about.puma.com.    - PUMA SE stock symbol:  Reuters: PUMG.DE, Bloomberg: PUM GY,  Börse Frankfurt: ISIN: DE0006969603- WKN: 6969603  Notes relating to forward-looking statements:  This document contains forward-looking information about the Company's financial status and strategic initiatives. Such information is subject to a certain level of risk and uncertainty that could cause the Company's actual results to differ significantly from the information discussed in this document. The forward-looking information is based on the current expectations and prognosis of the management team. Therefore, this document is further subject to the risk that such expectations or prognosis, or the premise of such underlying expectations or prognosis, become erroneous. Circumstances that could alter the Company's actual results and procure such results to differ significantly from those contained in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company include, but are not limited to those discussed be above.   PUMA   PUMA is one of the world's leading Sports Brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For over 65 years, PUMA has established a history of making fast product designs for the fastest athletes on the planet. PUMA offers performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as Football, Running, Training and Fitness, Golf, and Motorsports. It engages in exciting collaborations with renowned design brands such as Alexander McQueen and Mihara Yasuhiro to bring innovative and fast designs to the sports world. The PUMA Group owns the brands PUMA, Cobra Golf, Tretorn, Dobotex and Brandon. The company distributes its products in more than 120 countries, employs more than 10,000 people worldwide, and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.puma.com   End of Corporate News  ---------------------------------------------------------------------  14.05.2014 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a company of EQS Group AG. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.  DGAP's Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases. Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de  ---------------------------------------------------------------------   Language:    English                                                     Company:     PUMA SE                                                                  PUMA Way 1                                                               91074 Herzogenaurach                                                     Germany                                                     Phone:       +49 9132 81 0                                               Fax:         +49 9132 81 2246                                            E-mail:      investor-relations@puma.com                                 Internet:    www.puma.com                                                ISIN:        DE0006969603                                                WKN:         696960                                                      Indices:     SDAX                                                        Listed:      Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard), München;                Freiverkehr in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover,                    Stuttgart; Terminbörse EUREX                                    End of News    DGAP News-Service   ---------------------------------------------------------------------   268251 14.05.2014                                                        
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