By  on July 29, 2010

PARIS — Puma AG, Europe’s second-largest sporting goods company, reported a 16.4 percent rise in second-quarter earnings, boosted by sales in the Americas and the recent soccer World Cup in South Africa.

Net profit climbed to 44.8 million euros, or $57.2 million, from 38.5 million euros, or $52.4 million, a year ago, the German company said Thursday.

Revenue in the three months ended June 30 increased 2.5 percent to 615.4 million euros, or $785.3 million.

In the half, net profit climbed to 127.9 million euros, or $170.2 million, from 44 million euros, or $58.5 million, a year earlier. Last year’s earnings were impacted by one-off restructuring costs.

Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.

Puma — controlled by French conglomerate PPR, which reports first-half earnings today — said it expects earnings before extraordinary items to improve over the year and revenue to grow by a low- to midsingle-digit percentage. Earnings before interest and taxes before special items is expected to improve compared with last year.

“We are gearing up for solid growth in the second half of the year based on a strong outlook,” Puma chief executive officer Jochen Zeitz stated, adding the company was “ready” to re-engage its long-term expansion plans. The next phase of the sporting-goods maker’s strategic plan through 2015 “shall enable us to significantly tap into Puma’s long-term sales potential of 4 billion euros and beyond.”

In a press conference, he added: “Our goal is to be the most desirable and sustainable sports lifestyle company in the world.”

By region, second-quarter sales in the Americas gained 26.1 percent, Zeitz said. That more than offset sales declines of 5.7 percent in Asia-Pacific and 7.2 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Puma’s largest region by revenue.

By category, accessories was the star performer, with sales climbing 28.9 percent, boosted by the integration of Cobra Golf, which Puma acquired in March. Apparel sales rose 2.3 percent, while footwear sales decreased 2.7 percent.

Rival Adidas AG said earlier this month second-quarter profit jumped to 126 million euros or $160.8 million, from 9 million euros, or $12.3 million, during the same period a year ago, led by sales of soccer gear. Adidas is slated to report full results on Wednesday.

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