Big cat Puma in top shape

The European Football Championship couldn't have turned out better for Puma. With Italy, of all things, the national team won the title, which has been the global flagship of the Franconian sporting goods manufacturer for many years. In 2006 the Tifosi won the world championship in jerseys, shorts and socks with the predator emblem. When they won the European Championship final a week ago, they defeated hosts England, a team dressed by world market leader Nike.

After the US brand and local rival Adidas in Herzogenaurach, Puma is number three in the industry. However, the times when Puma dragged around a latent inferiority complex, especially with respect to Adidas, due to bad business, are long gone. Especially since the Norwegian and ex-soccer professional Björn Gulden took over the chairmanship of the board in 2013 (apart from the general Corona weakness last year), things have only risen steeply. And because business is going so well, Puma corrected its expectations for the current year accordingly on Friday. Revenue is expected to increase by 20 percent. So far there has been talk of growth in the mid-ten percent range. And the announcement at the beginning of the year that the operating profit would be “significantly improved” was now followed by a specification of a target value between 400 and 500 million euros. Despite the uncertainties resulting from the pandemic, despite the shortage of containers and congested ports, despite political tensions in important sales markets.

You do a lot right at Puma. The direction was no longer right when Gulden came to Herzogenaurach; too much fashionable chichi and too little sport had watered down the brand profile. The manager led Puma back into gyms, stadiums and fitness studios - without neglecting fashionable design. In the meantime, thanks to attractive teams, Puma is once again perceived as a supplier of equipment in football. After a long absence, the brand returned to the sport of basketball, expanded its involvement in running and took care of fitness-savvy women as a target group.

The new products are also well received, as the sales figures show: Between April and June, sales doubled (even if measured against a corona-related low level in the second quarter of 2020) to just under 1,6 billion euros. And instead of a loss of 115 million euros, there is an operating profit of 109 million euros on the books. According to experts, the fact that the share price fell slightly on Friday has to do with profit-taking.

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