For Puma, A Turnaround Is Still Out of Sight

Even with the World Cup in full swing, profits for the second quarter dropped 76 percent.
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Eliza Brooke
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Even with the World Cup in full swing, profits for the second quarter dropped 76 percent.
Suede, very nice. Photo: Norio Nakayama

Suede, very nice. Photo: Norio Nakayama

A year in as the CEO of Puma, and Bjoern Gulden is still working on turning around the athletic brand's business, the project he was tasked with when he took the executive reins last July. Despite the World Cup mania that enveloped much of the globe in June and July, boosting sales for rivals Adidas and Nike, Puma reported Tuesday morning that net profits had slid 76 percent in the second quarter of 2014. 

That's 4.2 million euros in earnings, as compared to 17.5 million during the same period last year. This subpar performance follows a 25 percent drop in profits in the first quarter. 

"As I have said all along: We know that the repositioning of Puma and the turnaround of the business will take time," Gulden said in a statement, noting that the results were in line with expectations and that he was pleased with the brand's visibility during the World Cup. 

Perhaps in line with the U.S.'s sudden interest in soccer (or Tim Howard), sales in the Americas actually grew by 4.6 percent in the period. Of course, they dropped everywhere else — in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

While footwear sales declined by 9.1 percent, the popularity of replica jerseys for the Italian, Chilean and African teams gave apparel sales a boost, and the category wound up improving by 12.8 percent. Socks and bodywear also led accessories sales to grow by 3.4 percent.