Puma proclaims 'future is female' as sales boosted by Rihanna partnership

Rihanna is Puma's women's creative director
Rihanna is Puma's women's creative director

Puma has proclaimed the 'future is female' as it increases it focuses on women after signing up Rihanna as brand ambassador and creative director.

Strong demand for the shoes it launched in partnership with singer Rihanna helped drive better-than-expected sales growth in the fourth quarter as sales rose a currency-adjusted 11.5% to €879m, while earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) edged up to €10.9 million

The German sports brand said: "A key partner in strengthening our women’s business is our women’s creative director Rihanna, who stole the show at New York Fashion Week earlier in February, when she launched a complete collection of footwear and apparel styles of her Puma by Rihanna Collection and FENTY label.

"Clearly the female market segment has been growing and outpacing the overall sports market. In addition, women have a much more profound impact on the entire sports industry. Athletic wear is turning into fashion as women have increasingly combined sportswear and sports-inspired pieces into their daily outfits."

Puma has also signed up Kylie Jenner as it focuses on women to the consternation of brother-in-law Kanye West.

West, who has a deal with Puma arch-rival Adidas, claimed earlier in the year that Jenner would "never" sign up with Puma.

Puma’s other marketing efforts have included a heavy investment in its ‘forever faster campaign’, which is attempting to position it as the fastest sports brand in the world.

As a result it sponsors world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, striker Sergio Agüero, golfer Rickie Fowler, Arsenal Football Club, Borussia Dortmund, the Red Bull racing team, and the Jamaican and Cuban Olympic Federations.

Puma claims it is confident that 2016 will result in a year of "solid sales growth" with an initial improvement in profitability. 

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