These results exceeded our initial expectations for the year and led us to adjust our guidance three times. We had a solid development geographically with double digit growth in all regions, and we are very proud that the growth was again led by very strong development in footwear, which grew 24%. We know that we still have a way to go as a brand before you as investors will be satisfied with us and that we must continue to show sustainable growth in both top and bottom lines. We feel that the improved sell-through results in stores and the continued positive feedback from our retail partners confirms we are on the right track and that our strategy, marketing and products are working.
We are committed to continuing to work hard and further invest to become the Fastest Sports Brand in the world and create value for retailers, improve performance for athletes, and excite consumers. This is the way we at PUMA can achieve the returns on investment that you, as our shareholder, deserve.
In January 2018, our majority shareholder, Kering S.A., announced plans to distribute parts of its PUMA shares to Kering’s shareholders (dividend in kind), thus reducing its stake in PUMA. This transaction is subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting of Kering S.A. in April 2018.
We at PUMA, welcome and fully support this proposal and we are very pleased that Kering has proposed this way of reducing its stake in our company. This transaction would lead to a much greater free float of PUMA shares providing investors with an enhanced possibility to invest in us, while also allowing us to continue with our current business strategy.
The strategy that we have executed over recent years and that is starting to show financial results would not have been possible without the support of Kering as the majority shareholder. Based on PUMA’s positive business development in 2017, with a significant improvement of profitability and cash flow, we, the Managing Directors and the Administrative Board, will propose a one-off total dividend of €12.50 per share for the 2017 financial year to you as our shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.
In 2017, we continued to focus on our five priorities: increasing brand heat, a competitive product range, a leading offer for women, improving the quality of distribution and organizational speed.
We continued to invest heavily in marketing to drive brand heat. The vast majority of our marketing expenses continued to be focused on sports performance partnerships, including those with the world’s fastest athletes Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse, star footballers like Antoine Griezmann and Sergio Agüero, world-class golfers Lexi Thompson and Rickie Fowler, football federations like Italy, Switzerland and Uruguay, football clubs like Arsenal FC, Borussia Dortmund and Chivas, the Jamaican and Cuban Olympic Federations and many others. In 2018, we will also welcome new partners with Olympique de Marseille, Borussia Mönchengladbach and A.C. Milan to our PUMA family.
Our marketing team has also focused on working with cultural, music and fashion icons to connect with young trend-setting audiences. We see that storytelling with these influencers, especially through social media, has become a very powerful brand asset. This has created a lot of brand heat and made PUMA one of the hottest sports and lifestyle brands for young consumers. In 2017, PUMA has further built on this success, partnering with global stars such as Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, The Weeknd, Big Sean, and most recently Lewis Hamilton and Selena Gomez. Our marketing team winning the Marketer of the Year Award 2017 from Footwear News Magazine in the United States shows that our innovative work is being acknowledged.
On the product side, we launched two completely new football footwear franchises, PUMA ONE and PUMA FUTURE. Both have been well-received by our retail partners and shown very good initial sell-through results. We also continued to place strong emphasis on innovations, such as our proprietary customizable lacing system NETFIT and our brand-new JAMMING midsole technology, whose NRGY beads provide high comfort and high energy return. In Golf we launched our COBRA Golf KING F7 & F7+ smart drivers, with embedded sensors, allowing golfers to automatically track the distance and accuracy of each drive.