Puma profit slumps 85 pct as Europe slows

FRANKFURT Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:16am EDT

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FRANKFURT Oct 24 (Reuters) - Sports apparel maker Puma said it was looking at more cost-cutting measures as it reported third-quarter results below expectations, hit by a slowdown in Europe and China as well as restructuring costs.

Slowing consumer spending in Europe has already prompted profit warnings from car suppliers to luxury handbag makers and food retailers.

Puma itself had warned over the summer that 2012 profit would fall far below that of last year on weak spending in Europe, its biggest market.

It is therefore reducing its product range, trimming organisational structures, looking at its store network and scrapping non-lucrative sponsorship deals.

The Germany-based group, whose shoes are worn by sprinter Usain Bolt and soccer player Cesc Fabregas, said third-quarter sales rose to 892.2 million euros ($1.16 billion) and net profit crashed 85 percent to 12.2 million euros. That included restructuring costs of 80 million euros in the quarter.

That compared with analysts' forecast for sales of 906 million euros and net profit of 36.4 million.

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