Puma 1Q profit falls to euro5.6 million

FRANKFURT: German sportswear company Puma AG said Friday that net profit fell substantially in the first quarter as the global recession and restructuring charges hurt sales and earnings.

The Herzogenaurach-based company reported a net profit of euro5.6 million ($7.5 million) in the January-March period, a fraction of the euro90 million made in the first quarter of 2008.

Puma, which is Germany's second largest sportswear company behind Adidas AG, said sales for the period fell about 1 percent, to euro738 million compared with euro741 million a year earlier.

"Despite an ongoing slowdown in the global consumer's environment, Puma managed to post a solid sales and earnings performance before one-time expenses in the first quarter," Jochen Zeitz, the company's chief executive said in the company's report.

"Due to the worldwide recession, we plan for business to remain challenging in 2009, and have therefore decided to implement further measures to align our cost structure with the current market environment." The company did not provide a more detailed outlook, but said those measures included a cost savings plan which aims to save euro150 million by 2011.