By Mauro Orru

Puma is keeping its dividend unchanged after the devaluation of the Argentine peso weighed on profitability for the fourth quarter, and said it expects geopolitical tensions and inflation to continue dampening consumer sentiment, particularly in the first half of 2024.

The German apparel group said Tuesday that it would propose a 82 European cents per share ($0.89) dividend for 2023 to its annual general meeting on May 22, same it paid for the previous year.

Net profit in the fourth quarter slumped to EUR800,000 from EUR1.4 million. Puma said in January that the decision from the government of President Javier Milei to devalue the Argentine peso by 54% in December to tame stubbornly high inflation had particularly harmed profitability.

The group said that earnings before interest and taxes, a closely watched metric by analysts and investors, climbed to EUR94.4 million in the fourth quarter from EUR40.5 million. However, sales slumped 9.8% in reported terms and 4% on a currency-adjusted basis to EUR1.98 billion from EUR2.20 billion.

For the current year, Puma is forecasting mid-single-digit sales growth on a currency-adjusted basis, and EBIT between EUR620 million and EUR700 million, based on its assumption that the devaluation of the Argentine peso will be fully compensated by price increases in the country.

Write to Mauro Orru at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-27-24 0236ET