Puma gains near cult status, shows record 3rd Q growth

Only days before Puma released its third quarter results, a respected German newspaper (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, or FAZ) wrote about a "Puma Cult."
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Only days before Puma released its third quarter results, a respected German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, or FAZ) wrote about a "Puma Cult." Although CEO Jochen Zeitz would never say this in a formal company press release, the FAZ said one reason for the sales growth of some 48 percent for the quarter was that the brand had gained cult status. In fact, it was pointed out, Germany's foreign minister even showed up in a public appearance recently wearing Puma athletic shoes. Now to the dry stuff: Third quarter, sales increased by 48.2 percent from Euro 197.1 million (USD $199.2 million) to Euro 292 million (USD $295.1 million), once again reaching the highest quarterly sales level in the company?s history. For the period January through September, sales were up by 53.6 percent, growing from Euro 475.8 million (USD $480.9 million) to Euro 730.6 million (USD $738.5). Footwear sales performed particularly well, with an increase of 60.3 percent during the third quarter and 60.7 percent for the first nine months of 2002. Apparel sales improved by 32.8 percent and accessories were up 9.5 percent. In the third quarter, the gross profit margin further improved and reached 44.1 percent compared to 42.4 percent last year. Europe continues to be the strongest region where sales were up 54.5 percent in the quarter, but sales were also up in the Americas (34 percent), with the United States being a strong contributor at 51.8-percent growth for the quarter. For more, go to http://about.puma.com. In other Puma news, the company opened its first Concept
Shop in Germany on Nov. 7 -- in the destination Frankfurt shopping street, Auf der Zeil.

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