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Puma Posts $55.3M Fourth-Quarter Loss

Net earnings for 2012 plunged 69.5 percent, impacted by the firm’s “transformation” plan.

The Puma sustainable store in Bangalore.

BERLIN — Reflecting challenging market conditions, particularly in Europe, and the implementation of its transformation program, Puma SE reported a net loss of 42.6 million euros, or $55.3 million, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In the year-ago quarter, net earnings had reached 33.1 million euros, or $44.7 million.

Fueled by strong fourth-quarter performances in Asia and North America, consolidated Q4 sales rose 11.7 percent in euro terms (8.7 percent on a currency-adjusted basis) to 804.7 million euros, or $1.04 billion. Puma said all product segments grew in the quarter.

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The Americas and Asia-Pacific regions generated double-digit growth and all product categories grew sales, with accessories booking a 20.7 percent gain, apparel growing 11.2 percent and footwear up 3.6 percent.

Hit by the company’s transformation and cost reduction program, 2012 net earnings for the German-based sporting goods firm plunged 69.5 percent to 70.2 million euros, or $90.3 million.

Full-year sales gained 8.7 percent to 3.27 billion euros, or $4.21 billion, reaching the company’s full-year sales target. On a currency-adjusted basis, sales rose 4.6 percent.

Dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange rate for the period to which they refer.

For the year ahead, Puma is forecasting sales will remain at 2012 levels but that net earnings will significantly improve.

Puma’s chief executive officer, Franz Koch, who is stepping down from the role at the end of March, said that implementation of all the measures of Puma’s transformation and cost reduction program, which was started in the second half of 2012, will continue throughout 2013.

This includes the closure of approximately 90 unprofitable stores, mostly in established markets, though new store openings are also planned, primarily in emerging markets. Puma expects to be operating 540 stores at the end of 2013, compared with 590 doors at the end of 2012.