Jul 31, 2009
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Puma first half operating income falls, lack of sport events hurts

Jul 31, 2009

FRANKFURT, July 31 (Reuters) - Germany's Puma (PUMG.DE) posted a 6.6 percent drop in first-half recurring operating income and lower comparable sales due to a lack of major sporting events, parent company PPR (PRTP.PA) said on Friday 31 July.

Puma Clyde from the Puma Archives - Photo: www.puma.com

The world's third-largest sports goods maker said recurring operating income fell to 176.7 million euros ($249 million) in the first half of 2009 from 189.1 million euros last year.

Comparable sales dropped 3.8 percent to 1.298 billion euros, and PPR said that team sports in particular had been affected by a lack of major events.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) -- where Puma makes half of its revenue -- sales dropped 10 percent, PPR said.

Puma shares were trading broadly unchanged at 177.99 euros in early trade at 0704 GMT, while the German mid-cap index .MDAXI was down 0.2 percent.

The French luxury and retail group PPR posted a slightly-better-than-forecast 4.8 percent drop in first-half recurring operating profit on lower retail and luxury sales.

As part of its efforts to battle the economic slowdown, Puma intensified its cost-cutting measures earlier this year and aims to save up to 150 million euros per year from 2011.

Puma shares trade at about 12.5 times 12-month forecast earnings, at a slight discount to Adidas (ADSG.DE), which has a multiple of 13.1, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

Both trade at a discount to market-leader Nike's (NKE.N) multiple of 15.2. (Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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