By Julian Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator email@example.com
Sportswear company Puma produced a solid 14 per cent net profit increase to 230 million euros ($26.3 billion) in 2011, during a financial year boosted by major achievements by the company's Jamaican brand ambassadors.
The German multinational, Europe's second largest sports goods manufacturer, saw sales climb by 11 per cent to 3.01 billion euros ($344 billion) over the period, led by a 18 per cent surge in revenues in the Americas market (the majority in the company's Latin American operation) compared to the corresponding period the year prior.
The company said "impressive successes", such as that of the Jamaican team and superstar Usain Bolt in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in South Korea, allowed it to grow while significantly increasing "brand desirability" over the period under review. Puma sponsors both the Jamaican track team and Bolt.
"As the supplier for Usain Bolt - currently the world's fastest man - and the Jamaican team, Puma once again highlighted its position as one of the leading running brands," said Puma in its 2011 financial report, adding that the company further increased brand awareness through the Puma-sponsored Uruguayan football team's win in the South American Championship and by supplying international women's football stars such as Brazilian brand ambassador, Marta.
Revenues rose by 10 per cent to 1.5 billion euros ($171.4 billion) in Puma's Footwear segment, which represented 51.2 per cent of consolidated sales in 2011. Puma during the year reported that its Running category, in particular, was growing significantly, boosted by top selling shoe Puma Faas, a lightweight neutral racer for tempo runs and racing that was endorsed by Bolt in an advertisement campaign.
"Faasfoam, one of our most recent major innovations, is one of the lightest and most resilient foam sole materials on the market. This material allows us to offer ultra-light running shoes for performance athletes, which at the same time reflects our minimalist design philosophy," stated Puma in its 2011 financial report.
"Here at Puma, we are convinced that peak performance in sports should always be combined with fun and enjoyment. We therefore endeavor to set new standards with a distinctive, colorful and exciting design language," continued the sportswear giant. "Our brand ambassador, Usain Bolt - the world's fastest man - perfectly embodies this unique
positioning which blends sports, joy and a positive attitude."
Puma's Apparel segment also saw sales rise by 10 per cent, to 1.04 billion euros ($119 billion), while revenues in the Accessories segment, benefiting from the full-year effect of the Cobra Golf acquisition, jumped by a whopping 27 per cent to 433.9 million euros ($49.5 billion). Apparel and accessories accounted for 34.4 per cent and 14.4 per cent of consolidated sales respectively.
What's more is that the company anticipates that the summer Olympics in London "will provide an excellent platform for presenting the PUMA brand to a big audience of enthusiastic sports fans, thereby further boosting brand growth."
Bolt two years ago extended his sponsorship with the German sportswear company through 2013, meaning that the world-record holder at both the 100 and 200 meters can provide the company with another huge injection of brand awareness on the biggest stage in sports this summer.
Puma's management expects the company to achieve increases in sales in the upper single-digit range in each of the next two years.