Puma also needs money from the state

Björn Gulden

At the end of February, Puma boss Gulden had hoped for a strong year, now he has to apply for government aid.

Munich Up until a few weeks ago it worked puma As good as never before. Last year, sales increased by almost a fifth, and profits rose by as much as 40 percent. “This achievement reflects the international potential of the brand,” emphasized CEO Björn Gulden at the end of February.

With the corona crisis, however, the outlook for the sports brand has deteriorated extremely. The big leap that the manager had promised for this year is unlikely to become anything.

Instead, the former professional soccer player has to save and take out loans to make ends meet. The company, which is listed in the MDax, works with its bank consortium, which provides additional financing, the company affirmed.

These institutes in turn would use the state development bank KfW to be able to provide more money. “This is about liquidity at customary financing terms,” ​​said a Puma spokesman.

Puma is taking the same path as the local rival Adidas, albeit at a significantly lower level. While Adidas collects three billion euros from the banks, it is likely to be only a three-digit million amount at Puma.

The group does not officially state a sum. The sneaker manufacturer Adidas listed in the Dax is four times the size of Puma.

Same costs with less sales

Both sports groups, however, have the same problem as the big US competitors Nike and Under Armor: You only get a fraction of your normal sales. Shops in large parts of the world are closed, retailers cannot or do not want to pay for goods that have already been delivered.

However, the costs remain almost unchanged. For the brands, this essentially means staff and rent for offices and shops. The factories are not owned by them. However, there are purchase obligations for ordered items.

At the end of February, Gulden was still hoping for a strong year. The goal for 2020 is an increase in sales of ten percent and a significantly higher operating profit, said the manager.

At 5.5 billion euros, the sneaker manufacturer had the highest sales ever. The operating profit had climbed to 440 million euros, the bottom line was 262 million. Gulden even slightly exceeded his forecast, which had been increased twice in the past year.

It is not to be expected this year that he will have to correct his forecast, on the contrary. In addition, Gulden has decided to wait and see with the latest results. Instead of April 30, as planned, he now wants to present the quarterly figures on May 7. The Annual General Meeting in Herzogenaurach should also take place on the same day – due to Corona, however, without visitors on site.

Analysts see Puma facing difficult months. So the British bank HSBC the price target for the next twelve months has been significantly reduced from 90 to 67 euros.

In the long term, however, the situation remains promising, analyst Erwan Rambourg said. In addition: Since the beginning of the year, the papers have already lost around 15 percent in value.

Long-term investors remain comforted: the price has more than doubled in the past five years.

More: Adidas is getting three billion euros from the development bank and major banks. Two-thirds of the remuneration of the Board of Management is deleted, and the dividend is also canceled.


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