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“Source- Economic Times”
New Delhi: India’s growing young population and increasing interest in fitness and sports will set Puma up for success in the future, the sportswear brand’s global chief executive Bjorn Gulden said. “It’s great to see the brand record sustained growth in India. It is a strategic market for Puma. A combination of global strength and local execution has accelerated the brand’s momentum in the country,” Puma SE’s chief Gulden said in a statement.

In an earnings statement released late last week, the German sportswear maker called out the Asia-Pacific region as its strongest market with 26% sales growth last year at €1,556.9 million, adding that growth in the region was primarily driven by China and India.

The lifestyle sportswear brand’s India unit reported revenue of Rs 1,413 crore in calendar year 2019, latest regulatory filings show. Like-to-like store sales grew 17%.

Puma, which competes aggressively with Nike and Reebok , said womenswear accounted for 28% sales, up from 24% a year ago.

Puma India  managing director Abhishek Ganguly said the fastest growing segments were tier two and three markets and women’s wear. He said online and offline channels grew equally. “There’s a lot of traction on sportswear now with women, younger consumers and sportswear becoming a lifestyle statement. Apart from the shift in consumer behaviour, we have localised the product portfolio and do channel specific pricing,” Ganguly said.

Puma operates 365 owned stores in India, and over the past three years, has signed up cricketer Virat Kohli , boxer, Mary Kom, footballer Sunil Chhetri and actress Sarah Ali Khan  to endorse its products.

While Gulden said that globally 2019 was the best year in Puma’s history with revenues of €5.5 billion, he warned of slower sales in first quarter of the current calendar year.