PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport

EANS-News: PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport
PUMA AG announces its consolidated financial results for the 1st Quarter of 2010

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quarterly report/Results First Quarter 2010

Herzogenaurach (euro adhoc) - Herzogenaurach, Germany, April 28, 2010
- PUMA AG announces its consolidated                              financial
results for the 1st Quarter of 2010

Highlights January-March:

@@start.t2@@• Consolidated sales down by 2.1%
  • Gross profit margin at a strong, sector-leading 52.2%, slightly above last
      year´s level
  • Strong improvements in cost structure as a result of the cost reduction
      program
  • Operating result before special items jumps EUR 115 million versus last year
  • EPS increase to EUR 5.51 after EUR 0.37
  • Further improvement in equity ratio to 64%@@end@@

Outlook 2010:

• Management expects sales growth in the low to mid single-digits   • Cost reduction program shall provide cost savings as planned   • Pre-tax profit is expected to improve by at least 70%

Jochen Zeitz, CEO: "We had a good start into the new year  from  a   bottom  line perspective  which    highlights    the    effectiveness     of    our    comprehensive restructuring & reengineering efforts. Assuming a continuous improvement of  the economic outlook and a planned increase of supplier orders,  we  anticipate  low to mid single digit growth for the full year, while  net  earnings  should   jump significantly to complete the expected earnings  rebound.  We   are  now  looking forward to the upcoming World Cup and to a successful integration of  our  newly acquired Cobra Golf business."

Sales and Earnings Development January-March 2010

Global Brand Sales Worldwide PUMA brand  sales,  which  include   consolidated  and  license  sales, decreased by 2.3% to EUR 720.6 million. Footwear sales were down by 6.0% to EUR 382.8 million and Accessories by  3.1% to EUR 90.3 million. Apparel sales increased by 4.3% to EUR 247.5 million.

Consolidated Sales PUMA´s consolidated sales in the first quarter   were  down  by  2.7%  currency- neutral and 2.1% in Euro terms to EUR 683.1 million. This development  should be seen in the context of last year´s sales increase of  3.6%,  which  was  mainly driven by closeout sales in order to reduce inventories. In addition,  supplier orders for the first half of 2010  were  placed  with  caution.   Excluding  the previous year´s inventory clearance, sales were slightly above last year. Sales in  Footwear  declined   currency-neutral  by  5.1%  to  EUR  378.8  million and Accessories decreased by 1.6% to EUR 77.5 million. Apparel sales rose by 1.2% to EUR 226.8 million due to a positive development in PUMA´s teamsport business. In regional terms, sales in EMEA were down currency-neutral by  6.2%  to  EUR 351.8 million (share: 51.5%) and Asia/Pacific declined by 8.4%  to  EUR  141.0 million (share: 20.6%). Sales in the Americas region significantly improved by 9.8%  to EUR 190.4 million (share: 27.9%) with both regions  -  North  America  and Latin America - positively contributing to this strong performance.

Gross Profit Margin In the first quarter, PUMA´s gross  profit   margin  reached  a  strong,  sector- leading 52.2% compared to 52.1% last year. The Footwear segment  reported  50.7% versus 50.4%, Apparel was at 53.5% compared to 53.7%  and  Accessories  remained unchanged to last year at 55.6%. In terms of region, the gross profit margin  in EMEA softened to 54.3% after 55.1%, Americas rose to 47.4% from 46.7%  -  driven by Latin America - and Asia/Pacific improved to 53.4% from 51.0% last year.

Operating Expenses

Operating expenses decreased by 4.6% from EUR 254.1 million to  EUR   242.3 million. As a percentage of sales, the cost ratio improved from 36.4% last year to  35.5% because of  the  cost  reduction  program   introduced  last  year.  Expenses  in marketing/retail and depreciation  decreased  due  to  the  improvement  to  the overall retail store portfolio.

EBIT

PUMA´s EBIT before special items increased by 4.4% to EUR 119.0 million  versus EUR 114.0 million last year. As a percentage of sales the EBIT margin improved  from 16.3% last year to an excellent 17.4%. Taking last  year´s  special  items  into account, EBIT increased from EUR 4.0 million to EUR 119.0 million.

Financial Result

The financial result was at EUR -1.2 million after EUR -1.6 million   last  year,  as the net cash position improved significantly and led to lower interest  expenses due to reduced bank debts.

Net Earnings The pre-tax profit (EBT) jumped from EUR 2.4  million   to  EUR  117.8  million. Net earnings increased to EUR 83.1 million from EUR 5.6 million based on a tax  rate  of 29.5% versus an operational tax rate of 28.5% last year. Earnings per share rose to EUR 5.51 from EUR 0.37 and  diluted  earnings  per share were at EUR 5.50 compared to EUR 0.37 last year.

Net Assets and Financial Position

Equity

As of March 31, 2010, total assets increased by 2.4% to EUR 2,159.3 million while PUMA´s equity ratio improved significantly from 56.6% to 64.0% this year.

Working Capital

Inventories declined by 15.9% to EUR 375.7 million and  accounts   receivable went up by 6.7% to EUR 568.6 million. Accounts payables increased by 7.2%  to  EUR 265.5 million. Working capital remained stable at EUR 595.6 million compared to EUR 596.9 million last year.

Capex/Cashflow

Capital investment amounted to EUR 7.7 million in the first quarter after EUR 11.6 million in the previous year. The free cashflow came in at EUR -73.4 million compared to EUR -118.0 million last year.

Cash Position

Total cash by the end of March jumped 59.5% to EUR 426.8  million   after  EUR 267.6 million last year. Bank debts were reduced by 41.8% from EUR  63.2  million  to EUR 36.8 million. As a result, the  net   cash  position  improved  significantly  by 90.7% from EUR 204.5 million to EUR 390.0 million.

Outlook 2010

Assuming a further improvement in the overall economic outlook,   sales  for  the full year 2010 should strengthen accordingly throughout the year. The  company´s pre-tax profit is expected to improve by  at  least  70%  in  2010  while  sales should post an increase in the low to mid single digits.

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 principles 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.  Sport  Fashion  features collaborations  with   renowned  designer  labels  such  as  Alexander    McQueen, Yasuhiro Mihara and Sergio Rossi. The PUMA Group owns  the  brands  PUMA,   Cobra and Tretorn.  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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