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Rihanna gives big boost to Puma as more women buy into the brand

Puma may not always be a headline-grabber compared to major rivals Nike and adidas, but the German brand is a stalking predator in the athletic sportswear/fashion sector that can’t be ignored… especially with figures like those released on Tuesday.

It got a Q3 boost from its Rihanna-linked product and from footwear, with sales up a currency adjusted 23%, while accessories rose 24%, although sales of apparel were up ‘only’ 8%.

In fact, with new Fenty product just launching now, the collaboration has been an outstanding success for the firm and has been key for its ambitions to reach more female consumers.

The Rihanna partnership helped net earnings leap to €62.1m/€4.16 a share from €39.5m/€2.64 a year ago. Overall, sales rose 13% to €1.12bn, or up 17.4% currency-neutral, with the company saying all regions showed double-digit increases and women’s sales were helped by that new Rihanna collection.

Currency-adjusted sales rose 23% in Europe, Middle East and Africa, 16% in the Americas and 10% in Asia/Pacific and the gross profit margin rose 230 basis points to 48.1%.

Chief executive Bjørn Gulden described it as “another good quarter… [and] combined with a good order book for the fourth quarter made us raise the outlook for the full year.” The company now expects that currency adjusted sales will increase between 14%-16%, compared to the previous guidance of 12-14% growth in currency adjusted sales.

The gross profit margin is now anticipated to improve to around 46.5% compared to previous guidance of around 46%.

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