PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport

EANS-News: PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport
PUMA AG announces its consolidated financial results for the 3rd Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet

Herzogenaurach (euro adhoc) - Herzogenaurach, Germany, November 9,
2009 - PUMA AG announces its consolidated            financial results
for the 3rd Quarter and First Nine Months of 2009

Highlights Third Quarter:

@@start.t2@@• Consolidated sales at EUR 673 million, a decline of 5.5% versus last year´s
      third quarter
  • Gross profit margin at 51.9%, up from 50% in the second quarter
  • Total operating expenses 2.5% below last year´s level as a result of
      ongoing cost savings program
  • Operating result at EUR 98 million, reflecting a decrease of 21.6% in the
      quarter
  • EPS at EUR 4.50 after EUR 5.81 last year
  • Continued strong reduction in inventories and improvement in net cash
      position@@end@@

Highlights First Nine Months:    • Global brand sales above EUR 2 billion    • Consolidated sales slightly up in Euro terms and 2% down currency-adjusted    • Gross profit margin remains above 51%    • Operating result before special items at EUR 275 million    • EPS before restructuring at EUR 13.01 after EUR 14.55 last year

Outlook 2009:

@@start.t3@@• The  ongoing  reengineering  and  restructuring  program  is  expected  to
      continue until the end of 2009
  • The strong emphasis  on  improving  working  capital  and  focus  on  cash
      generating activities seen in the first three quarters  will  continue  as
      planned@@end@@

Jochen Zeitz, CEO: "The business environment has continued to be as challenging as we had expected, which resulted in a decrease in sales and profits.  Despite this most difficult market, we generated a profit in all three quarters so  far and we expect to be profitable in Q4 again. We hope to see first  signs  of  an improving business environment in the run up to the Football World Cup in South Africa, where PUMA through its strong ties with African  Football  has  a   home field advantage."

Sales and Earnings Development

Global Brand Sales PUMA´s brand sales in the third quarter, which include consolidated and  license sales, decreased by 7.6% in Euro terms,  or  by  8.3%  currency-adjusted,  to EUR 719.6 million.

After nine months, global brand sales declined currency-neutral   4.8%.  In  Euro terms, sales decreased by 2.6% to  EUR  2,093.8   million.  On  a currency-neutral basis, Footwear sales were down by 5.3% to EUR 1,113.7 million and  Apparel sales by 6.2% to EUR 719.1 million. Accessories sales  increased  by  1.3%  to  EUR 260.9 million.

Consolidated Sales Consolidated sales in the third quarter decreased by  6.3%  currency-neutral  or by 5.5% in Euro terms to EUR 673.4 million. On a currency-neutral basis, Footwear sales were down by 13.0% at EUR 358.7 million,  and  Apparel  sales  decreased by 5.2% to EUR 238.1 million. Due to first  time  consolidations,   Accessories sales improved significantly by 38.5% to EUR 76.6 million.

After the first nine months, consolidated sales were down by 2.0% on a currency- neutral basis but increased by 0.4% in Euro terms to EUR 1,971.1  million. Sales in EMEA and Asia/Pacific were below last year´s level. Sales  in  the  Americas region, however, increased despite the challenging market environment. Footwear sales were down by 5.6% currency-neutral at EUR 1,085.8  million.  Apparel sales decreased by 6.3% to EUR 664.3 million on high comparables last  year after the Football Euro 2008 generated strong replica sales. Accessories sales  increased significantly by 45.3% to EUR 221.0 million.

Gross Profit Margin In the third quarter, the gross profit margin decreased from 53.6% last year  to 51.9%. This decline mainly derives from  further  inventory  reduction  programs and changes in the product and regional mix, as  well  as  higher  raw  material costs. After the first nine months, PUMA  achieved  a  gross  profit  margin of 51.4% versus 53.2%  last  year.  Footwear  reported  50.2%   compared  to  53.1%, Apparel 52.2% versus 53.3% and Accessories increased to 54.8%  from  53.3%  last year.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses decreased by 2.5% to EUR 256.9 million in  the   third quarter. During the first nine months, operating expenses remained at last  year´s  level of EUR 753.1 million, representing a cost  ratio  of  38.2%  versus  last year´s 38.3%.

Marketing/Retail expenses decreased by 4.7% to  EUR  374.9  million   mainly  as a result of last year´s higher spending level in relation to  the  Olympic  Games and Football Euro Cup. The cost ratio declined from 20.0%  to  19.0%  of  sales. Other selling expenses increased by 10.4% to EUR 240.3 million, or from  11.1% to 12.2% of sales. Product development and design increased from 13.6%  to  EUR 43.4 million, or as a percentage of sales  from  1.9%  to  2.2%.   Other  general  and administration expenses were down by 7.2% at EUR 94.6 million,  representing 4.8% of sales versus 5.2% last year.   Depreciation  increased  by  10.4%  to  EUR 44.7 million due to full year effects from last year´s retail expansion.

Operating Result before Special Items

Amid lower  sales  combined  with  the  softened  margin  in  the   quarter,  the operating result came in at EUR  98.0  million  in  the quarter  versus  EUR 125.0 million last year. As a percentage of sales, it fell to 14.5%  from  17.5%  last year. After nine months, the operating result was down by 12.2%  at  EUR  275.1 million from EUR 313.2 million, while the operating margin  was  still   double-digit with 14.0% versus 16.0% last year.

Special Items - Reengineering and Restructuring Program

The reengineering and  restructuring  program,  which  resulted  in   a  one-time charge of EUR 110 million in the first  quarter,  will   continue  as  planned and should be largely finalized by the end of 2009. The program will provide  for  a more efficient, leaner and faster business platform to  adjust  to  the  current market conditions. Considering the restructuring charge, EBIT for the first nine months  totaled EUR 165.1 million compared to EUR 313.2 million last year.

Financial Result

Due to lower interest rates and the accumulation of interest on   purchase  price liabilities from acquisitions, the financial result in the third quarter was  at EUR -1.9 million versus EUR -0.5 million in last year´s quarter. After  nine months the financial result stood at EUR -5.6 million compared to a slightly  positive EUR 0.5 million last year.

Earnings The company´s pre-tax profit (EBT) was EUR  96.0  million   in  the  third quarter versus EUR 124.5 million last year. Net earnings totaled EUR 67.9 million versus  EUR 89.0 million, a decline of 23.6%. This translated into earnings per share  of EUR 4.50 compared to EUR 5.81.

Before restructuring costs, EBT came in  at  EUR  269.4  million   versus  EUR 313.7 million for the first nine months and  net   earnings  totaled  EUR  196.3 million versus EUR 224.7 million, representing a decline  of  12.6%.  Earnings  per share were at EUR 13.01 compared to EUR 14.55. The operational tax  ratio  was calculated at 27.9% versus last year´s 28.7%.

Taking the restructuring costs into account, EBT was EUR  159.4   million  and net earnings were EUR 112.0 million with earnings per share at EUR 7.42 versus  EUR 14.55 last year, a decline of 49.0%.

Regional Development

In the EMEA region, third quarter sales decreased by 3.1%   currency-neutral  and totaled EUR 366.4 million in the third quarter. While  the  sales  performance in Western Europe was impacted by promotional  sales  due  to  the  current  market situation, the EEMEA region managed to stay on  prior  year  level.  After  nine months, sales were down by 2.6% to EUR  1,020.8  million,   representing  51.8% of consolidated sales. Gross profit margin was at 53.2%  compared  to  55.2%  last year.

Sales in the Americas were down by 11.2% currency-adjusted at  EUR   165.4 million in the third quarter. After nine months, however, sales rose by 1.6% to EUR 512.1 million. The region now accounts for 26.0% of consolidated sales.  Gross  profit margin was at 47.9% compared to 48.9% last year. In the US market, sales decreased by 11.3% to  $   129.5  million  in  the  third quarter and by 1.4% to  $  400.9   million  after  nine  months.  For  the  Latin American region this quarter was characterized by the convergence  of  increased import restrictions and other conditions which had  negative  impacts  on   sales performance.

In the Asia/Pacific region, sales fell by 8.3% in the  third  quarter currency- neutral, but increased in Euro terms by 1.2% to  EUR  141.6 million.  After nine months, sales were down by 4.7% currency-neutral but increased by 8.5%  in  Euro terms to EUR 438.2  million,   representing  22.2%  of  consolidated  sales. Gross profit margin reached 51.1% versus 53.1% last year.

Net Assets and Financial Position

Equity

As of September 30, 2009, total assets were up by 7.9% to  EUR   2,057.5 million. Based on the higher balance sheet total, the equity ratio stood at 59.1%  after 62.3% in the previous year.

Working Capital

PUMA adhered to its plan to significantly reduce inventory,  which   improved  by 17.5% to EUR 356.4 million. Accounts receivable were slightly  below  last year´s level at EUR 530.7 million. Working   capital  improved  to  EUR  523.3  million (ex acquisition EUR 507.6 million) from EUR 599.6 million last year -  showing again  a significant enhancement compared to previous quarters and thus underpinning  our strong focus on managing working capital.

Capex/Cashflow

In the first nine months, the company invested EUR 40.8  million   versus  EUR 79.1 million last year. The reduction in capital expenditure together with  a  solid improvement in working capital led to a strong increase in PUMA´s free cashflow of EUR 145.1 million from EUR 17.2 million, showing a strong  enhancement compared to last year. An outflow of EUR 75.8 million versus EUR 24.9 million last   year is related to acquisitions. Taking  these  acquisitions  into   account,  the  free cashflow amounted to EUR 69.4 million versus an outflow of  EUR  7.7  million last year.

Cash Position

Given the strong focus on cash management, total cash at the  end  of September rose from EUR 297.3 million to EUR 376.9 million and  bank debts  declined from  EUR 61.1 million to EUR 37.4 million this year. As a result, net cash was  up  from EUR 236.2 million to EUR 339.5 million this year, a respectable increase of 43.7%.

Outlook 2009 - Market environment remains challenging in Q4

The market and consumer environment  is  expected  to  remain   challenging.  The reengineering and restructuring program is planned to be finalized  by  the  end of the year and will generate improvements in efficiency  and  cost  savings  in the future.

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 is one of the world´s leading sportlifestyle  companies  that   designs  and develops footwear, apparel and accessories.  It is committed to working in  ways that contribute to the world by supporting Creativity, SAFE  Sustainability  and Peace, and by staying true to the values of being  Fair,  Honest,  Positive  and Creative in decisions made and actions taken. PUMA starts in Sport and ends in Fashion. Its Sport  Performance  and  Lifestyle labels include categories such  as  Football,  Running,  Motorsports,  Golf and Sailing. The Black label features collaborations with  renowned   designers  such as Alexander McQueen, Yasuhiro Mihara and Sergio Rossi. The PUMA Group owns  the brands PUMA, Tretorn and Hussein Chalayan.  The company, which  was  founded  in 1948, distributes its products in more than 120  countries,  employs  more  than 9,000 people worldwide and has headquarters in  Herzogenaurach/Germany,   Boston, London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit www.puma.com

Rounding differences may be observed in the percentage and numerical values expressed in millions of Euro since the underlying calculations are always based on thousands of Euro.

Rounding differences may be observed in the percentage and numerical values expressed in millions of Euro since the underlying calculations are always based on thousands of Euro.

Rounding differences may be observed in the percentage and numerical values expressed in millions of Euro since the underlying calculations are always based on thousands of Euro. -----------------------

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ots Originaltext: PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Kerstin Neuber

Telefon: +49 (0)9132 81-2984

E-Mail: Kerstin.Neuber@puma.com

Branche: Consumer Goods
ISIN:      DE0006969603
WKN:        696960
Index:    Midcap Market Index, MDAX, CDAX, Classic All Share, HDAX,
              Prime All Share
Börsen:  Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
              Berlin / free trade
              Hamburg / free trade
              Stuttgart / free trade
              Düsseldorf / free trade
              Hannover / free trade
              München / regulated dealing



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