Highlights January – March 2011:
• Consolidated sales increased by 13.2% in Euro terms to a record high of € 773 million
• Gross profit margin back to a strong, sector leading 52.4%
• EBIT 2.1% above last year at € 111.0 million
• Net earnings improved by 7.1% to € 77.7 million
• EPS increased to € 5.17 from € 4.81 last year
• Based on the success of the past quarter and the positive business development, Management targets the milestone of € 3 billion in sales for the full year 2011.
• To support business growth and the “Back on the Attack” growth strategy, investments in marketing, sales, product development as well as process optimization will continue to affect the OPEX ratio.
• Despite expected moderate price increases in sourcing costs related to raw materials and wages for the 2nd half, Management still foresees continuous improvement of net earnings by mid single-digits.
Jochen Zeitz, CEO: “The first quarter performance was a strong start to 2011 and our Back on the Attack growth plan, as PUMA managed to generate strong sales growth. We were even able to mitigate the negative impact we saw from the disastrous events in Japan last month as our Asian/ Pacific region contributed with an increase in sales to the overall solid company performance. For the full year 2011 we continue to expect an increase in net earnings in the mid single-digit percentage range with sales targeting the € 3 billion milestone for the first time. PUMA continues to execute on the Back on the Attack company growth plan and performs at levels consistent with reaching the long-term target of € 4 billion in sales by 2015. The recent approval of our shareholders to convert PUMA from the German Aktiengesellschaft PUMA AG to the European Corporation PUMA SE will provide our company with a broader international profile, helping to tap into the many opportunities the international Sportlifestyle market offers.
Sales and Earnings Development January-March 2011
Global Brand Sales
Worldwide PUMA brand sales – comprised of consolidated and license sales – rose by 12.5% in Euro terms (8.8% currency adjusted) to € 811.1 million from € 720.8 million last year.
PUMA’s first quarter consolidated sales reached € 773.4 million, rising 9.3% in currency adjusted terms and an impressive 13.2% in Euro terms when compared to the first quarter of 2010. This represents PUMA’s best ever first quarter. All product segments showed considerable growth: Footwear up 6.8% currency adjusted at € 417.2 million, Apparel up 2.2% at € 241.8 million, and Accessories posting a superb 42.4% increase at € 114.4 million. The strong performance in the Accessories product segment was also supported by the inclusion of Cobra Golf into the consolidation.
In regional terms, sales in EMEA grew by 4.4% currency adjusted to € 374.5 million, Asia/ Pacific posted a gain of 6.9% to € 163.9 million and PUMA continued its excellent performance in the Americas with sales growing by 19.9% to € 235.1 million.
Gross Profit Margin
The gross profit margin remained at an industry leading 52.4%, which is testament to PUMA’s continuing efforts to maximize returns and efficiencies. The Footwear segment had a gross profit margin of 51.3%, up from 50.9%. Apparel stood at 53.7%, down slightly from 53.9%. Accessories were at 54.0%, also down slightly from 55.7%.
Operating expenses before special items rose by 21.6% to € 298.6 million during the first quarter of 2011. As a percentage of sales, this represents an increase from 35.9% to 38.6% compared to last year. Reasons for this rise include currency fluctuations, as well as additional investments in Marketing, Sales and Product Design to fuel our “Back on the Attack” growth plan.
Operating profit came in as expected, improving to € 111.0 million from € 108.7 million. This represents 14.4% of consolidated sales, down slightly from a rate of 15.9% at this time last year.
Financial Result / Income from associated companies
The financial result improved from € -1.4 million to € -0.2 million, including € 0.9 million from our investment in Wilderness.
Earnings before Taxes
PUMA’s EBT rose from € 107.3 million to € 110.8 million.
Tax expenses declined from € 34.8 million to € 33.1 million and the tax rate dropped from 32.4% to a normalized tax rate of 29.9%.
Consolidated net earnings increased to € 77.7 million from € 72.5 million in 2010, an increase of 7.1%. Earnings per share rose from € 4.81 to € 5.17, and diluted earnings per share rose from € 4.80 to € 5.15.
Net Assets and Financial PositionEquity
Total assets (as of 31st March 2011) increased by 11.3% from € 2.068,5 million to € 2.303,2 million. This rise stems mainly from the expansion of the consolidated group, as Cobra Golf is included this year. The equity ratio declined slightly from 61.2% to 60.6%. However, in absolute figures, shareholders’ equity increased by 10.3% to € 1.395,9 million from € 1.265,7 million. As a consequence, PUMA’s balance sheet remains very strong.
PUMA’s overall Working Capital went up by 13.9% to € 598.1 million. On the asset side, inventories went up by 24.9% from € 371.8 million to € 464.3 million, supporting our expected sales growth in the upcoming quarters and trade receivables also increased, up 11.0% from € 520.4 million to € 577.8 million. Considering the change in scope and the strong increase in sales during the quarter, the trade receivables developed positively.
On the liabilities side, trade liabilities rose 25.8% from € 270.4 million to € 340.2 million.
The Free Cashflow (before acquisitions) came in at € -113.5 million versus € -71.6 million last year. The additional outflow was caused mainly by the increase in working capital and tax payments.
The payments for acquisitions are related to the purchase of the remaining shares of PUMA China, as announced in our third quarter results last year.
For Capex, the company spent € 10.8 million versus € 7.7 million in last year’s first quarter. The increase derives from investments in the improvement of organizational processes and IT, which are necessary components of our growth strategy.
Total cash (as of 31st March 2011) dropped by 29.1% to € 300.8 million from € 424.2 million last year. Bank debts were reduced by 25.9% from € 52.3 million to € 38.8 million. As a result, the net cash position decreased 29.6%, from € 371.9 million to € 262.0 million.
PUMA continued with its share buy back program and purchased 51.720 shares for € 10.9 million during the first quarter.
PUMA AG converts to a Societas Europaea (SE)
As previously reported, PUMA’s shareholders returned a positive vote in April’s Annual General Meeting on the conversion from a German ‘Aktiengesellschaft’, or AG, to a European ‘Societas Europaea’, or SE. The conversion is expected to be completed latest by July.
As the first quarter visibly demonstrates, PUMA’s “Back on the Attack” strategy is already taking effect, with higher investment in marketing and product being offset by significant increases in sales with a stable gross profit margin. Taking into account the risk of higher input prices in the form of raw materials and wages for the second half of the year, PUMA’s outlook for 2011 continues to be favourable. We continue to expect an improvement in net earnings in the mid single digit range for 2011 whilst targeting the € 3 billion milestone in sales.