The German activewear firm, which is controlled by French group Kering, reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 115.2 million euros, or $156.8 million, down 170.3 percent versus the same prior-year period.
Impacted by negative currency effects and high comparables, the company said sales in the three months ended Dec. 31 slumped 13.2 percent to 698.3 million euros, or $950.31 million, versus 804.7 million euros, or $1.04 billion, in fourth-quarter 2013.
Dollar figures are converted from the euro at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer.
Broken down by product segment, only accessories sales grew, by 10.6 percent, while footwear and apparel fell by 12.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
All regions registered single-digit declines. “Strong growth” was noted in Russia and Turkey, but that was not enough to offset business in Western and southern Europe.
In full-year 2013, company net earnings dropped 92.4 percent to 5.3 million euros, or $7 million.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday at headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, company chief executive officer Björn Gulden said that “2013 [was] a challenging year for Puma, and there is no doubt that we have issues in terms of lack of brand heat, commercial products and desirable distribution.”
Gulden presented a long list of changes he envisaged for the current year and beyond.
“This is not a quick fix, but 2014 marks the start of the turnaround,” he said. Gulden explained this turnaround would be “fueled by Puma’s biggest media investment in the last decade,” a large-scale advertising campaign thought up by New York-based JWT, scheduled to launch in August.
Although the executive would not reveal how much the company spent on the new marketing strategy, he said it was cutting back in other areas to balance spending. For instance, the firm has decided to exit European rugby and sailing. Instead, it will concentrate on soccer, running, training, motorsport and golf — the latter of which has grown especially.
Continuing with last year’s strategy, Gulden said there would be more streamlining. Eighteen Puma stores deemed unprofitable are to be closed in 2014, while new units will open in emerging markets. Also this year five European warehouses are set to close. And by 2015 the objective is to reduce article count by 30 percent.
But Gulden said what the company most needed was “time.” For this year, he projects flat sales.
“Net sales will be a little down in the first half and a little up in the second half,” while gross margin is expected to “improve slightly,” he said. “Obviously these numbers are not our end game. We should start growing again in 2015.”
For more visibility, Puma intends to rely on what it terms its “great assets,” which are ongoing partnerships with top athletes, including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, and star soccer striker Mario Balotelli, as well as Puma’s most recent coup — a deal with Arsenal AC, which it snapped up from Nike.
Yet wholesale remains key to Puma, given it generates 80 percent of its business, according to Gulden, who referred to “a whole package” of product launches slated for the first week in March.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)