Puma soars as it says ‘future is female’

London – Puma’s attempts to tap the burgeoning market for women’s sportswear appeared to be working yesterday as it revealed a jump in sales.

For its latest range the German company signed up singer Rihanna as creative director and it hopes to win more business by teaming up with the US reality TV star Kylie Jenner.

Puma said “we believe the future is female” as quarterly sales leapt 11.5 percent to €879m (£684m). Underlying profits, which strip out one-off costs, rose 2.6 percent to €10.9m, beating forecasts of €6.5m.

The brand has been losing ground to competitors Nike and Adidas, but Puma thinks it can win in the women’s sports market, which Nike admits is growing faster than the men’s sector.

A number of female sports brands have been launched in recent years, especially at the premium end of the market. Reebok and Under Armour have also expanded into women’s sportswear, along with Superdry, Boohoo, Missguided and Net-a-Porter.

Puma reckons sales will also grow strongly on the back of the Rio Olympics and football’s Uefa Euro and Copa America, all later this year.