PUMA AG announces its consolidated financial results for the 1st Quarter 2007

May 07, 2007

Consolidated sales up 7% currency neutral or 2% in Euro currency


Highlights Q1:

* Consolidated sales up 7% currency neutral or 2% in Euro currency
* Gross profit margin at 52%
* BIT up 2% to € 135 million, representing 21% on sales
* EPS at € 6.02 compared to € 5.83

Outlook 2007:

* Orders up currency neutral 1.4% to nearly € 1.1 billion
* Management now expects sales and earnings growth in the low single-digits

Sales and Earnings Development

Global branded sales up 9%
PUMA’s worldwide branded sales, which include consolidated and license sales, rose currency neutral 8.9% (3.5% in Euro terms) to € 762.1 million.
Footwear sales improved by 9.7% to € 441.4 million, Apparel by 6.1% to € 253.3 million and Accessories by 14.8% to € 67.4 million.

Licensed business increased 15%
The licensed business increased by 15.2% currency neutral (13.3% in Euro terms) to € 106.3 million. The company realized a royalty and commission income of € 9.7 million in the first quarter versus € 8.5 million in the prior year, an increase of 14.0%.

Consolidated sales up 7%
In Q1, consolidated sales grew 7.4% currency neutral (2.0% in Euro terms) to € 655.8 million. Sales in Footwear were up 9.0% to € 413.5 million, Apparel by 4.8% to € 200.7 million and Accessories by 4.7% to € 41.7 million.

Gross profit at 52%
In Q1, gross profit margin reached 52.2% compared to 52.4% last year. The Footwear margin was slightly up from 52.0% to 52.1% and Accessories increased from 53.4% to 54.9%. Apparel reported 51.9% compared to 52.9% last year.

SG&A ratio below last year
In total, SG&A rose 1.0% to € 207.3 million in Q1 2007. As a percentage of sales, the cost ratio decreased slightly from 31.9% to 31.6%.

Marketing/Retail expenses were down by 0.8% to € 99.8 million, representing a cost ratio of 15.2% compared to 15.6% in the previous year. Product development and design expenses increased by 3.0% to € 13.1 million and were flat at 2% of sales. Other selling, general and administrative expenses increased 2.7% to € 94.4 million, or slightly from 14.3% to 14.4% of sales.

EBIT margin stable
EBIT increased by 2.0% to € 134.8 million versus € 132.2 million last year. As a percentage of sales this relates to a stable EBIT margin of 20.6%.
Due to an increase in the financial results, pre-tax profit grew by 2.3% to € 137.2 million. The tax ratio was 29.1% versus 29.5% in last year’s quarter.

Earnings per share 3.3% above last year
In Q1, net earnings grew by 3.7%. In absolute amounts, net earnings accounted for € 96.6 million versus € 93.1 million last year. The net return amounts to 14.7% versus 14.5%. Earnings per share reached € 6.02, a 3.3% increase from last year’s € 5.83. Diluted earnings per share were calculated at € 6.01 compared with € 5.78.

Net Assets and Financial Position

Equity ratio at 61%
As of March 31, 2007, total assets climbed by 15.8% to € 1,797.7 million and the equity ratio reached 60.9% after 61.4% in the previous year.

Working capital
Inventories grew 21.4% to € 344.1 million, mainly due to the retail expansion and early deliveries from the Asian production. Receivables were up 9.1%, reaching € 519.2 million. Total working capital at the end of March totaled € 496.1 million compared to € 440.3 million last year.

For Capex, the company spent € 16.4 million in Q1 versus € 59.3 million in last year’s quarter, whereas € 1.6 million versus € 41.8 million were related to acquisitions. Free cashflow amounts to € -9.8 million compared to € -135.2 million last year or € -8.2 million versus € -93.4 million excluding acquisition costs.

Cash position
Total cash end of March stood at € 402.4 versus € 354.1 million last year. Bank debts were down from € 68.1 million to € 63.5 million. As a result, the net cash position improved from € 286.0 million to € 338.9 million year over year, but declined since end of December 2006, mainly due to further share buybacks.

Share Buyback/New Subscribed Capital

During Q1, PUMA purchased another 150,000 of its own shares. At quarter-end, 1,270,000 shares were held as treasury stock in the balance sheet, accounting for 7.4% of total share capital.
Effective April 10, 2007 all own shares were cancelled and share capital was reduced accordingly. Including the option rights (Management-Incentive-Program) exercised in April 2007, subscribed capital consists of 16,007,364 shares or € 40,978,851.84 as of today.

Regional Development

Sales in the EMEA-region increased currency adjusted 8.0% reaching € 360.9 million versus € 339.3 million last year, representing 55.0% of consolidated sales compared to 52.8%. Gross profit margin reached 53.7% compared to 55.2% last year. Orders in the EMEA-region were slightly up 0.8% currency adjusted which represents a decline in Euro terms of -0.8% to € 595.3 million.

Sales in the Americas were up currency neutral 4.5% to € 174.3 million. The region now accounts for 26.6% compared to 28.3%. Gross profit margin increased from 47.5% to 49.7%. The order volume decreased 8.6% currency adjusted to € 260.6 million.
Despite the announced consolidation in the US market, sales were only slightly down to $ 156.2 million in Q1. However, orders for US end-of-quarter declined 17.6%, which is mainly due to a business related adjustment with one key account that had seen a significant sales increase in the prior years, as well as a generally moderating environment in the US mall business.

The Asia/Pacific region showed a currency neutral sales increase of 8.6% to € 120.6 million with a strong double-digit increase in China. The total region accounts for 18.4% of sales versus 18.9% last year. The gross profit margin was down from 51.9% to 51.4%. End of March orders on hand were up currency adjusted by 20.0% totaling € 206.9 million.

Outlook 2007

Future orders up 1.4% to nearly € 1.1 billion
Consolidated orders were up currency adjusted by 1.4% to € 1,062.8 million. In terms of product segments, Footwear decreased by 4.5% to € 654.5 million, while Apparel was up 15.4% to € 343.2 million and Accessories 0.1% to € 65.1 million.

Management expects sales and earnings growth in the lower single-digits
Due to the order situation end of Q1, Management now expects for FY2007 sales and earnings growth in the low single-digits. Gross profit margin should range between 50%-51%. Due to already announced and expected investments in relation to the Volvo Ocean Race participation as well as other planned SG&A initiatives, total cost ratio is expected to be around or above 35% of sales. EBIT should therefore develop in line with sales while the tax rate should come in at last year’s level.

Jochen Zeitz, CEO: “We’re pleased to have started Q1 with continued growth despite difficult year-on-year comps. While the remainder of the off-year in terms of major sports events will certainly be challenging given our current order book, we continue to be fully focused on our long-term objectives.”