BERLIN, May 14 (Reuters) - German sportswear company Puma SE trimmed its margin forecasts for 2014 due to currency volatility as it reported an expected slide in first-quarter results amid a battle to reposition the brand back on its sporting roots.
Puma reported sales fell 7.1 percent to 725.7 million euros ($994.68 million) in the first quarter, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 26 percent to 58.6 million, compared with average analyst forecasts for 728 million and 58 million respectively.
Puma said in a statement it expect currencies to pull down its EBIT and net earnings margin by 50 basis points. It had previously forecast an EBIT margin of about 5 percent and a net profit margin of about 3 percent for 2014.
Puma reiterated a forecast for flat sales in 2014, with a deal to oust Nike as kit supplier to Arsenal from next season and a new marketing campaign seen boosting sales in the second half, compensating for a first-half fall. ($1 = 0.7296 Euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)