Rihanna is boosting Puma's business

Puma is hoping Rihanna can reinvigorate the brand.

The company’s profits fell 31% in the most recent quarter to $US22 million as sales growth slowed to 3.1% from 7.6% growth in the previous quarter.

But there are signs that its women’s business could bolster sales in the coming months with Rihanna at the helm as creative director.

The pop star released her first line of sneakers for the company, called Puma Creepers, in September.

Puma said the shoes were a hit.

“The launch of the first Puma by Rihanna shoe, the ‘Creeper,’ has been extremely successful and most retailers have sold out within hours or days,” Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden said in an earnings call Friday. “We have generally seen a very positive development in our women’s business and we will put even more focus on the female consumer going forward.”

Puma will look to carry that success into the new year with a full collection of footwear and apparel by Rihanna set to be released in 2016.

Women’s activewear, which represents more than $US18 billion in annual sales, is expected to grow fast than the men’s market over the next decade, according to the research firm NPD Group.

Puma also has a key endorsement from Olympic runner Usain Bolt, who recently won
three gold medals in Beijing in August.

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