PARIS — Looking to strengthen its position in Europe, Middle East and Asia, Puma SE has opened a wholly owned subsidiary in Israel that is to officially begin operations on Jan. 1.


The German firm — Europe’s second-largest sporting goods maker after Adidas — said it plans next year to open stores in strategic locations around the country.


Guy Daneman has been appointed general manager of the new subsidiary, with immediate effect.

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Grundman Sports Co., Puma’s current distributor, will continue to operate the business until the end of 2012.


Puma SE posted a 4.9 percent dip in net profits in the first quarter, to 73.9 million euros, or $96.8 million, impacted by the sluggish economy in Europe.


The firm remains positive in its outlook for full-year 2013, however, forecasting sales growth in the high-single-digit range and an increase in net earnings in the midsingle-digit percentage range for full-year 2012.


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