BERLIN, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Sales of Puma in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 increased by 9.1 percent year-on-year to 1.52 billion euros (1.85 billion U.S. dollars) despite COVID-19-related lockdown measures, the German manufacturer of sportswear announced on Wednesday.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Puma recorded the strongest increase in sales of 11.8 percent in Q4, due in particular to high growth rates in China.
Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 lockdown measures in Europe since November last year, a significant sales growth of 9.8 percent was achieved in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In the Americas region, sales of Puma increased only by 6.1 percent in Q4.
"I am very happy that we managed to end a very difficult 2020 with -- considering the circumstances -- a good fourth quarter," said Puma CEO Bjoern Gulden in a statement.
Due to the negative COVID-19 impact, full-year sales of Puma fell by 1.4 percent year-on-year to 5.23 billion euros, while net earnings declined to 78.9 million euros in comparison to 262.4 million euros in the previous year.
Puma had started with a "very positive order book for 2020 with strong and balanced growth in all regions." In China, double-digit growth rates in wholesale, e-commerce as well as owned and operated stores were recorded at the start of the year.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic was "unfortunately still here and impacting our business. We do expect the negative impact to continue through the first and parts of the second quarter, but expect to see an improvement in the second half of the year," said Gulden.
For 2021, Puma is expecting "at least a moderate increase" in sales in constant currency with an "upside potential." (1 euro = 1.21 U.S. dollars)