Berlin - The German sportswear giant Puma said on Wednesday that it had high hopes for this Olympic year despite posting disappointing profits for the first quarter due to sluggish spending in crisis-hit Europe.
Puma's net profits were down some five percent in the first three months of the year, to 74 million euros ($98 million) on sales of 821 million euros - a gain of six percent, the firm said in its earnings statement.
"After a strong finish in 2011, Puma's first-quarter sales growth could not keep pace with that of recent quarters, translating into weaker bottom line results," said Franz Koch, the firm's chief executive.
However, Koch added: "I am confident that the product innovations we have in the pipelines will contribute to achieving our full-year sales and earnings targets against the background of this extraordinary sports year."
In addition to the Olympics in London in July and August, Europe's top footballing nations will compete for the European Championships in Ukraine and Poland in June and July.
Puma said it expected sales over the full year in the "high single digits" with profits in the "mid-single digit range."