Puma SE said it is suspending its dividend payment, as well as reducing expenses and securing additional financing, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a “major decline in net sales and cash inflow.”

The company also said it is suspending the Management Board’s salary by 100 percent and reducing that of senior management by 25 percent. Puma noted that, apart from China, Japan and South Korea, almost all of the company’s own stores, as well as those of its partners, have been temporarily closed by the authorities.

Puma said in its statement:

“Apart from China, Japan and South Korea, almost all of Puma’s own stores, as well as those of Puma’s partners, have been temporarily closed by the authorities. Puma’s e-commerce business, while still operational in almost all markets, accounts for less than 10 percent of the business. This has, of course, led to a major decline in net sales and cash inflow. It is currently impossible to foresee how long this situation will last. In order to get through this crisis, we are working closely with all our partners such as retailers, suppliers, landlords, banks, and authorities.

“Puma is reducing costs and cash outflow wherever possible as well as securing additional financing to ensure that together with our partners we can sustain the value chain in this period. The goal is to get through this crisis together. We now focus on managing the short-term challenges as well as possible without hindering the midterm momentum for the company.

“Ensuring financing through this crisis is key, and we believe suspending dividend payments as well as suspending the Management Board’s salary 100 percent and reducing that of our senior management by 25 percent are the right measures given the circumstances.

“Due to the spread of Sars-CoV-2 in Germany and the contact bans mandated by authorities, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of Puma SE have decided to hold the Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2020, as a digital meeting only. The invitation for the meeting will be published by April 15, 2020, at the latest. According to the COVID-19 Mitigation Act, which came into force on March 28, 2020, in order to avoid large gatherings of people, general meetings may be held without the physical presence of shareholders or their proxies. Puma’s Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2020 will meet all conditions required by the new law. Moreover, to ensure consistent communication in a fast-changing business environment impacted by Sars-CoV-2, Puma has decided to move the date of the publication of the results for the first quarter of 2020 by one week from April 30, 2020, also to May 7, 2020.”

Photo courtesy Puma