Puma Profit Falls in Second-Quarter as Sales Decline

Athletic apparel maker Puma said Thursday second-quarter profit slipped as rising sales in Europe were offset by a 15% sales decline in North and South America.

The Herzogenaurach-based company, the industry's No. 3 after rivals Nike and Adidas, earned 45.2 million euros ($62.4 million) in the April-June quarter, compared with 50.1 million euros a year earlier a period that coincided with the 2006 soccer World Cup.

The performance fell short of the 47.8 million euros ($65.9 million) that analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast.

Worldwide, sales slipped to 542.8 million euros ($748.7 million) in the quarter from 546.6 million euros a year earlier. The company reported an increase in sales in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and a slight gain in Asia, but a drop in the Americas.

Earlier this year, French luxury goods company PPR took over Puma, acquiring more than 62% of the company's shares.