* Sales growth strongest in EMEA, Americas
* Footwear, accessories drive sales
* Women's sales helped by Rihanna collection, Selena Gomez
* Kering could seek to offload Puma in 2018 - report
* Shares down 0.6 percent after big rally last week (Adds details, background)
BERLIN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - A new collection from singer Rihanna helped drive sales growth at German sportswear company Puma, which last week raised its outlook for 2017 sales and operating earnings.
Puma said third-quarter sales rose a currency-adjusted 23 percent in Europe, Middle East and Africa, 16 percent in the Americas and 10 percent in Asia/Pacific.
Like its German rival Adidas, which reports results on Nov. 9, Puma has been enjoying a revival in the U.S. market, as shoppers snap up its retro styles instead of basketball shoes, hurting Under Armour and Nike.
Puma, which was bought by French luxury goods company Kering in 2007, had been struggling for years, but analysts expect Kering could seek to sell its stake in the course of 2018 now that the German brand is performing well again.
Puma shares, which had jumped last week after the company hiked its outlook, were down 0.6 percent at 0705 GMT. Its market capitalisation is now 5.3 billion euros, back at the level at which Kering bought it.
Kering is expected to pursue a dual track initial public offering-auction to spin off Puma next year, not before, the Business of Fashion website reported, citing investment bankers in Paris and London.
Puma said growth had been driven in particular by footwear, with sales up a currency adjusted 23 percent, and accessories, which rose 24 percent, while sales of apparel were up 8 percent.
Puma said its retro "Basket Heart" sneakers and "Ignite Limitless" running shoes were particularly popular and women's sales were helped by a Rihanna collection launched in September as well as a partnership with singer and actress Selena Gomez.
Puma named Rihanna as its women's creative director in 2014 as sportswear firms seek to tap into the booming market for female leisure gear, which helped drive the rise of the likes of yogawear chain Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Christoph Steitz and Alexander Smith)