Even Usain Bolt cannot help Puma in the race for sales

 

Proof that publicity cannot buy you a profit came from Puma yesterday as the sportswear brand that was plastered across Usain Bolt's chest this summer missed expectations and announced cost-cutting plans.

Puma, a distant third in the sportswear industry behind Nike and Adidas, said sales in Europe and the Middle East fell 3.4 per cent in the third quarter to €397m (£330m).

Overall, the German business saw third-quarter sales rise 6 per cent to €892m – missing analysts' forecast €906m – while net profit crashed 85 per cent to €12.2m, due to lower sales plus heavy restructuring costs.

Puma warned this summer that the 2012 profit would be sharply lower due to weak spending in Europe, and analysts said it failed to produce hi-tech trainers. It now plans to trim its range and close 80 stores.

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