* Q2 net earnings fall 16 percent to 38.5 million eur, above f’casts
* Puma CEO says expects challenging H2
* Shares indicated 0.1 percent higher (Adds details and background)
Frankfurt: Puma, the world’s third-largest sports goods maker, said it expects a challenging second half of the year after posting better-than-expected results for the second quarter on Friday.
“We remain highly cautious and anticipate a continued challenging and volatile retail industry due to the decline of private consumption as a result of the weakness in the global economy, which may negatively impact sales in second half,” Puma said.
Puma, which still did not give a full-year outlook, said second-quarter net earnings fell 15.6% to €38.5 million ($55.36 million), beating the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts of €34 million.
Parent company PPR announced last week that Puma’s second-quarter operating results before special items rose 1.2% to €63.1 million on sales of €600.3 million , up 4.1%percent. Both figures beat analysts’ estimates.
German rival Adidas, the world’s No.2 after US bellwether Nike, on Wednesday reported a 2.5% drop in second-quarter sales, which was slightly better than expected and said it had turned the corner.
Puma shares were indicated 0.1% higher, according to data from brokers ahead of market opening at 0700 GMT.
As part of its efforts to battle the economic slowdown, Puma intensified its cost-cutting measures earlier this year and aims to save up to €150 million per year from 2011.
Costs for such efforts crippled its first-quarter results.
Puma shares trade at about 14.2 times 12-month forecast earnings, at a slight discount to Adidas, which has a multiple of 14.4, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Both trade at a discount to market-leader Nike’s multiple of 16.