German sportswear firm Puma expects its second-quarter results to be worse than the first as more than half of global sports retail space is currently closed, after it reported first-quarter sales declined less than analysts had feared.
Puma said it expected all markets to recover by the end of the year and for growth to return in 2021, noting that the crisis has made many people do more sports than before and has strengthened the trend towards more casual dressing.
First-quarter sales fell a currency-adjusted 1.3% to 1.3 billion euros ($1.40 billion), while operating earnings dropped 50% to 71.2 million euros, compared to average analyst forecasts for 1.26 billion and 74 million respectively.
Analysts have said they expect Puma to prove more resilient in the coronavirus crisis than its German rival Adidas , which reported last month that first-quarter sales tumbled 19% and also warned of a worse second quarter.
Puma sales fell 12% in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter, but still managed to grow 3.5% in Europe, Middle East and Africa and by 3.1% in the Americas as the coronavirus lockdowns only started there in March.
Puma, which already proposed last month that it would suspend its dividend due to the pandemic, said it had secured a new resolving credit facility of 900 million euros, including 625 million from German state development bank KfW.
Business is recovering in Asia, especially China and South Korea, it said, and some stores are opening again in Europe, but distribution is still almost fully shut in the Americas.
E-commerce grew around 40% in the first quarter and continues to expand very fast but cannot compensate for the loss of sales in stores, Puma said. ($1 = 0.9262 euros)