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Rihanna Helps Lift Puma to Quarterly Sales Victory

Puma reported its fourth-quarter earnings this week and the company is crediting its endorsement deal with Rihanna for a big surge in sales.

The German footwear brand said quarterly sales rose 11.5% in 2015 to €878.9 million ($979.3 million) when adjusted for currency effects. Sales grew at a double-digit percentage rate in all its product categories.

Puma attributed the growth to its multi-year endorsement deal with pop superstar Rihanna, which the company said has helped boost its standing with female consumers.

Rihanna was first signed to Puma in 2014, with her first line of sneakers hitting stores last fall. Her newest collaboration with Puma – Fenty Puma by Rihanna – was debuted at NYFW this month, and was well-received by fashion critics. Rihanna was also recently named the most marketable celebrity by NPD Group, which measures consumer preferences.

Puma’s net profit for FY2015 was €37 million, down 42% compared with 2014, although annual sales were up from €2.9 billion in 2014 to €3.4 billion last year, helping the company to meet its adjusted targets for 2015. Puma said it expected profits to increase for the year ahead, forecasting operating earnings of between €115 million and €125 million for 2016.