PARIS — Puma AG, Europe’s second-largest sporting goods firm after Adidas, looks on track to accomplish its “Back on the Attack 2011-15” five-year strategic plan to generate annual revenues of 4 billion euros, or $5.38 billion at current exchange rates, by 2015.

This story first appeared in the April 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Citing a strong start to 2011, Puma said it is forecasting a revenue increase in the midsingle-digit percentage range that should propel it to a full-year sales target of 3 billion euros, or $4.03 billion.

The sports-lifestyle giant said first-quarter net income increased 7.1 percent to 77.7 million euros, or about $109.5 million, from 72.5 million euros a year ago, or $97.3 million.

Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the three-month periods ended March 31 for the respective years.

The firm cited exceptional growth in the Americas, up 23.5 percent, with almost every country in Latin America registering double-digit growth. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 16.3 percent.

Reporting a spike in accessories sales of 42.4 percent, to 114.4 million euros, or $161.2 million, fueled by the recent addition of the Cobra Golf brand to its stable, the Herzogenaurach, Germany-based company posted its strongest results yet for the period, with a 13.2 percent rise in consolidated sales to 773.4 million euros, or $1.09 billion, versus 683.3 million euros, or $917.7 million, in the equivalent year-ago period.

“We were even able to mitigate the negative impact we saw from the disastrous events in Japan last month as our Asia-Pacific region contributed with an increase in sales to the overall solid company performance,” stated Jochen Zeitz, Puma’s chief executive officer.

During a conference call, Zeitz said initiatives lined up to offset increases in labor and raw materials will include the introduction of price increases in the fourth quarter, which will kick in “on a significant scale” starting in January. “[The price increases] will have an effect this year and all efforts are going into 2012 to compensate as much as possible in order to increase the margin again,” he said. Zeitz added Puma intends to strengthen its traditional and online media spend over sponsorship contracts.

Notable sporting events for the firm this year include the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany this summer and various sailing events.

Zeitz confirmed that Franz Koch will host the presentation of Puma’s second-quarter results in July, as the company’s new ceo, following approval by shareholders at Puma’s recent annual general meeting for the company’s transformation from a German Aktiengesellschaft, or AG, to a European Societas Europaea, or SE.

The conversion is expected to be completed by July at the latest. Zeitz is to become head of parent company PPR’s sport and lifestyle group.

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