UPDATE 2-Puma footwear sales recover amid marketing push
* Footwear sales up currency-adjusted 2 pct
* Arsenal shirt sales help apparel rise 11 pct
* CEO sees no signal from Kering on stake sale
* Shares up almost 4 percent (Adds CEO comments, shares, analyst comment)
By Emma Thomasson
HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, Nov 7 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Puma reported its first rise in footwear sales in almost two years and benefited from strong demand for its new Arsenal soccer shirts, allowing it to lift its 2014 sales target.
Puma is seeing the first returns on its heavy marketing expenditure and costly sponsorship deals like the one with top English side Arsenal. The spending is designed to restore Puma's reputation as a sports performance brand after a shift into fashion hurt its core business.
However, Puma was forced to trim its margin forecast because of higher marketing costs as it seeks to make up ground lost in recent years to market leader Nike and German rival Adidas, the two biggest names in sportswear.
It ousted Nike as kit supplier to Arsenal this season, took a stake in German club Borussia Dortmund and launched its biggest advertising drive yet, featuring Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt and soccer star Mario Balotelli. Continuación...