German sportswear giant Puma SE announced it expects Greater China to return to growth in 2023, adding its market share in the country is “significantly too low,” especially compared with rivals Adidas and Nike.
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At Puma’s conference call dissecting the brand’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 financial results, chief executive Arne Freundt said the company plans to expand the contribution from the Greater China region to the group’s revenue, which so far stands at about 5 percent.
Puma said its Asia-Pacific region in the fourth quarter recorded a sales growth of 1.6 percent currency adjusted. The firm said Covid-19 related lockdown measures and geopolitical tensions continued to impact business in Greater China, while other key markets in APAC delivered “strong growth.”
Quarterly sales in footwear were up 53 percent, driven by continued strong demand for performance categories like running and training, team sports and basketball, as well as for sportstyle. Sales in apparel and accessories declined by 1.6 percent and 5 percent respectively, mainly because of softer demand in North America and Greater China, said the company.
The quarterly uptick in APAC sales, however, was not enough to stem sales losses for the year, with APAC down 2.2 percent in 2022.
“While facing some economic headwinds in 2023, we remain hungry and will advance the execution of our successful strategy,” said Freundt.
“We will focus on elevating our brand strength and on winning market share in the U.S. and China. I’m honored to have the chance to lead this fantastic company and take Puma together with my great team to new heights.”