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Puma upbeat for 2017 after strong quarter in Europe
February 9, 2017 / 9:02 AM / 10 months ago

Puma upbeat for 2017 after strong quarter in Europe

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, Feb 9 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Puma reported strong sales growth in the fourth quarter, particularly in Europe, and gave a confident forecast for 2017 as it benefits from a trend for retro sneakers and partnerships with stars like Usain Bolt.

Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden has led a gradual turnaround of a brand that had fallen far behind market leaders Nike and Adidas, sparking renewed speculation that majority owner Kering might consider a sale.

Puma reported on Thursday a quarterly net loss of 4.6 million euros ($4.9 million), with sales up 9 percent to 958 million. That was slightly ahead of average analyst forecasts for a 5 million net loss on sales of 947 million, according to a Reuters poll.

Puma expects currency-adjusted net sales to increase at a high single-digit percentage rate in 2017 after a rise of 10 percent in 2016, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) should come in between 170 million and 190 million euros, up from 128 million in 2016.

$1 = 0.9346 euros Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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