German sportswear maker Puma AG (PUM.XE) reported a slight rise in its fiscal first quarter earnings, but cut its 2007 outlook for full-year sales and profit.
Puma net profit rose 3.8 percent to â‚¬96.6 million ($131.4 million) from â‚¬93.1 million a year ago. Sales rose to $891.9 million in the three months ending March 31, up from â‚¬642.8 million.
Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a net profit of $130.4 million.
The Herzogenaurach, Bavaria-based company cited lack of major sporting events this year, and slow growth in its American operations.
That firm said that despite previously announced cost-saving consolidation in the US market, sales were only slightly down to $156.2 million in the quarter. Orders in the US also declined 17.6 percent, mainly due to a business related adjustment as well as a generally moderating environment in the US mall business, it said.
While the remainder of the off-year in terms of major sports events will certainly be challenging given our current order book, we continue to be fully focused on our long-term objectives, said Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz.
The company, which is known for its leaping panther logo, said it now expected sales and earnings growth rates in the low single digits. Earlier, management had said sales were projected to rise by a mid- to high-single-digit percentage and net profit to rise at least 10 percent.
Puma is currently the target of a $7.21 billion take over from French luxury goods maker, PPR SA, which also owns the Gucci and Yves St. Laurent brands. PPR will make an offer on May 15.
The company's shares rose slightly, up $2.37, or .52 percent to $456.54 in morning trading.