The operating result increased in 2017 by 91.7% from € 127.6 million to € 244.6 million and was therefore considerably above the forecast from the previous Annual Report which had originally forecast an operating result within a range of € 170 million and € 190 million. Due to this better-than-expected business development, the forecast for the 2017 operating result saw an upward increase several times throughout the year. The adjusted forecast of an operating result within a range of between € 235 million and € 245 million could be achieved at the upper end.
The considerable increase in profitability in 2017 is also reflected in the development of net earnings and earnings per share, each of which more than doubled. Net earnings increased in 2017 by 117.7% to € 135.8 million (previous year: € 62.4 million) and the earnings per share increased accordingly from € 4.17 in the previous year to € 9.09.
Due to the very successful business development in 2017 with a considerable increase in profitability and free cash flow, the Managing Directors and the Administrative Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 12, 2018 to distribute a one-off dividend of € 12.50 per share for 2017 (previous year: regular dividend € 0.75).
The PUMA share developed very positively in 2017 and was listed at year-end at € 363.00, a 45.5% increase over the share price at the end of the previous year (€ 249.65). This means that PUMA Group market capitalization has risen to around € 5.4 billion (previous year: € 3.7 billion).