HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, Nov 7 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Puma said a new marketing campaign helped drive its first increase in footwear sales in almost two years as it increased its sales target for 2014, while paring its margin forecast.
Puma, which has slipped further behind sportswear giants Nike and Adidas in recent years, reported its third-quarter net profit fell 45 percent to 29 million euros ($36 million) on sales up 3.7 percent to 843 million, slightly shy of average analyst forecasts for 30 million.
Puma said footwear sales, which account for 44 percent of the total, grew a currency-adjusted 2 percent, the first rise in seven quarters, helped by the popularity of its evoSPEED soccer boot, worn by several top players at the World Cup in Brazil.
Puma said it now expected a low single-digit increase in 2014 currency adjusted net sales, compared with a previous forecast for flat sales, while it sees a stable gross profit margin, compared to a previous target for a slight increase.
$1 = 0.8072 euro Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Maria Sheahan